The Great British Bee Count launches on the 19th of May and this year more than ever organisers want the public to get involved in the event.
Public concerns for bee populations are rising with a recent survey by Opinion Matters showing that 87% of people questioned cared about the bee population in the UK while a further YouGov study found that 85% agreed that ‘bees dying off’ was a very or fairly serious issue. Despite this, it turns out that, in general, we actually know little about our garden visitors and in fact when shown images in a further survey most people couldn’t recognise a honey bee with only a third picking the right answer in the YouGov poll.
Organised by Friends of the Earth with help from Buglife, The Great British Bee Count aims to help people discover more about our bees of which there are over 250 species in the British Isles alone. By getting people out in their gardens, parks, local greenspace or countryside, Friends of the Earth and other supporters hope that the nation will form a greater connection to nature and use the event app to learn a little more about our pollinators. The month long event also hopes to highlight the threats bee species face and ways in which we can help.
Ecologist and conservationist, Professor Dave Goulson, highlights the problems bees face and simple things we can do to make a difference.
“Britain’s bees are facing multiple threats, from loss of flower meadows and quiet places to nest, and from the many pesticides used in most modern farming.
“The good news is that we can all play a part in helping them. Making our gardens and allotments more friendly to bees is easy to do – and can help make a real difference…
“Imagine if every garden, park and school grounds had bee-friendly flowers, and we grew wildflowers on our roundabouts and road verges; our towns and cities could become huge nature reserves for pollinators.”
Last year more than 100,000 individual bee sightings were recorded during the count with thousands of participants expected to contribute again this year.
To get involved you can log your bee sightings through the Great British Bee Count app or to find out more, go online to the Great British Bee count website to see how many sightings have already been recorded.
The Great British Bee Count runs from 19 May – 30 June 2016.
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