Wildlife Wednesday: Great British Bee Count


I know, I know – what with last week’s bumblebee post and this week’s Great British Bee Count, I seem to be a little obsessed with all thing bee and buzzing at the moment! It’s all for a good cause though and one that if you eat or grow fruit and vegetables, not to mention enjoy that liquid gold, honey, you will already appreciate by default.

Bumblebees are not alone in their plight (if you missed last week’s post, you can catch up here). Honey bees and all variety of pollinators are suffering as their natural habitats decline. 97% of wild flower meadows have disappeared in the past 60 years and many species of bee have now become extinct. The knock on effect of this means  that we lose out on the essential pollinators required to make our cropping plants produce edible offerings. We are utterly reliant on our winged friends.

This summer, scientists are trying to get to grips with exactly what is happening to UK bee populations so that we can assess the extent of the problems they face and hopefully, begin to raise more awareness and help struggling bee populations.

In order to map out where bees are thriving and where they are in decline, your help is needed! All you need to do is download the free Great British Bee Count app for iPhone and Android. If you’ve not got a smart phone then you can still take part by entering your sighting online here. So next time you are out in your garden, park or walk and a bee buzzes past, just record it in your phone. There are a list of easy identification pictures of the most common bees to help you spot yours –  you do not need to be a wildlife or bee expert. That’s it! Simple!

The count is running now until 31st August – handily timed so that your kids can stop driving you up the wall learn all about nature during the school holidays by having a go at the Great British Bee Count too. The results of the Great British Bee Count are due to be released in the autumn. Scientists and environmentalists hope that the results will provide valuable information regarding bee numbers and health, which will be used to inform the government’s National Pollinator Strategy for protecting bees and pollinators.

We have been out this morning and had a go. Compared to last week when there were literally hundreds of bumblebees on my raspberry plants, this week the flowers have died down and I struggled to spot more than three! As some of you will remember from last week, my garden had a little way to go to make it more bee friendly and this week’s count has highlighted just how quickly my bees have moved on. I hope they have found sufficient food sources in my neighbours’ gardens but I definitely need to get planting to provide a more consistent source of pollen in my garden throughout the year.

Have you been out and about enjoying nature with the kids? Have a great wildlife photo, project or experience to share? Don’t be shy – take part in the #wildlifewednesday linky. Add your post below and help raise awareness of all things wild! I will happily share your posts on Twitter. All I ask is that you don’t post sponsored posts or paid reviews and that you share the love by taking time to explore and comment on one or two other posts. 

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