More than 15,000 people have so far taken part in Friends of the Earth’s Great British Bee Count, recording over 280,000 bees – and nature-lovers still have until 30 June to join the buzz, the environmental charity said today.
One of the bees spotted – and photographed – is the rare Long-horned bee, recorded in a garden near Lingfield Park racecourse in Surrey. The Long horned bee is a UK Priority Species for conservation – meaning local authorities should aim to protect it.
The Great British Bee Count, which was featured on this year’s Springwatch and is supported by TV presenters Michaela Strachan and Ellie Harrison, runs until Friday 30 June.
The Great British Bee Count helps people to:
• identify the common bee species that visit our gardens, parks and countryside – as well as two rarer species.
• learn more about the amazing diversity of Britain’s bees – around 270 species of bee have been recorded in Great Britain.
• take easy steps to help our under-threat pollinators – such as creating bee-friendly gardens and other spaces.
Verified sightings recorded as part of Great British Bee Count will be shared with academic researchers and ecologists via the National Biodiversity Network Atlas.
People can take part by downloading a fun, free and easy-to-use app which allows them to send in photos of the bees they spot: www.greatbritishbeecount.co.uk.
Friends of the Earth chief executive Craig Bennett said: “The response to the Great British Bee Count has been fantastic – and shows how much people love and value our bees. Thousands have already recorded their bee sightings, and people still have until the end of the month to download the free app and spot many more. Bees help us by pollinating our gardens and crops – and we can help them by creating bee-friendly gardens and other spaces.”
Friends of the Earth has a number of top tips for creating bee-friendly spaces which can be found here: https://www.foe.co.uk/bee-count/bee-cause-gardening-bees.
A Friends of the Earth’s YouGov survey, published last month, found that the public is keen to take action to help bees: 61% would consider planting “bee friendly” plants in their garden to encourage wildlife and bees, and half (50%) would consider avoiding pesticides.
35 UK bees species are considered under threat – and across Europe nearly one in ten wild bee species face extinction.
Photo: Early bumblebee on blue Knapweed. Ellesmere Port, Chesire. Credit: Chris Brown