Wildlife presenters Steve Backshall, Michaela Strachan and Miranda Krestovnikoff are urging people to get outside and take part in the Great British Bee Count 2015, which is taking place throughout the month of May (1-31 May 2015).
Organised by Friends of the Earth, Buglife and Waitrose, the Great British Bee Count aims to build on the huge success of last year’s inaugural event, when over 23,000 people took part, spotting over 830,000 bees.
Gardeners are also being encouraged to take easy steps (see below) to make their gardens more bee-friendly, and help provide crucial havens for our threatened pollinators.
Allotments (with an average of 12 bees spotted per count) and gardens were two of the top three most popular habitats in last year’s bee count – with the countryside being the third.
Wildlife presenter and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Steve Backshall said “Bees are our pals; without their pollinating powers, our planet would grind to a halt. So get out, have a fun day in the countryside, and do a bit of citizen science counting our buzzing buddies!”
Wildlife presenter and BBC Springwatch host Michaela Strachan said “Bees are the most amazing creatures and a lot of people are totally unaware of how important they are. In the UK we are lucky enough to have around 250 different types of bee and a lot of people don't know that. So get outside and see how many you can spot and do what you can to help these awesome little pollinators. We all need to bee friend the bee!”
Natural history presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff said “Nothing is more iconic of a British summer than a bee buzzing around the garden, but these amazing creatures need our help. Britain’s bees are in serious decline. We can all give them a boost by creating bee-friendly habitats in our schools, parks and gardens.”
Paul Hetherington, Director of Communications, Buglife said “Increasingly our gardens are becoming key habitats for bees as development pressure eats into urban green space. The Great British Bee Count is a fun way to engage in the challenge of making our environment more pollinator friendly.”
Friends of the Earth Nature Campaigner Sandra Bell said “Discover how bee-friendly your garden, park or countryside is by taking part in the Great British Bee Count 2015 – it’s fun, informative and easy to take part. Bees are the gardener’s friend, pollinating their fruit and flowers. With a little effort, more of our gardens and allotments could become crucial havens for these under-threat pollinators.”
Bee expert Professor Dave Goulson, of the University of Sussex, said "It is fantastic that the Great British Bee Count got 23,000 people out looking at our wild bees last year, let’s hope for even more in 2015. The idea of including photo uploads this year is really important as it will allow the records to be checked by experts.”
Head of Sustainability at Waitrose, Quentin Clark said “We're committed to protecting pollinators like bees, and this summer we will also be promoting pollinator-friendly plants in our shops. People who work at Waitrose take real pride in supporting the environment, and we are delighted to support The Great British Bee Count.”
The data can be easily recorded via the free smartphone app, which goes live on 1 May. The app can be downloaded from To find out more about the event, including how to take part, click here
Gardeners can take simple steps to make their gardens and allotments more attractive to bees. Top bee-friendly garden tips include:
• Planting nectar and pollen rich flowers:
- Tubular-shaped flowers: Tubular-shaped flowers, like lupins and foxgloves, provide a good landing place for bees to feed.
- Purple flowers: Bees see purple better than any other colour, so fill your garden with plants like lavender, bugles and borage.
- Herbs: Feed yourself and the bees too with a herb garden that includes plants such as rosemary, chives and thyme.
- Bees love dandelions and clover – so why not allow some to grow on your lawn?
• Make your own bee hotel to attract pollinators
• Provide a clean source of water with a shallow bowl with a few pebbles for the bees to land on.
• Avoid using pesticides. They have been linked to the decline in our bees.