Wildlife organisations call to arms to help Devons bees

Friday 10th July 2015

Buglife and other organisations involved in Devon Local Nature Partnership are appealing to Devon’s residents to do one simple thing to help bees and other pollinating insects this National Pollinator Week.

Wild bees and other insect pollinators are faced with a perfect storm of pressures which have all led to their decline, these include: a loss of wildflower-rich habitats through the intensification of farming, urban development, and the increased use of pesticides.  As a result half of the UK’s 27 bumblebee species, two-thirds of our moths and over 70% of our butterflies are in long-term decline.

Andrew Whitehouse, South West Manager at Buglife said “The South West remains a stronghold for some of the UK’s most threatened bee species.  But, over the past 50 years we have seen the local extinction of many of Devon’s special bees including the Large garden bumblebee (Bombus ruderatus). Some are precariously holding on, such as the Six-banded nomad bee (Nomada sexfasciata) which has all but disappeared from the UK, except for a last remaining site in South Devon”.

Andrew said “We need to take urgent action to reverse the declines in our bees, butterflies, hoverflies and moths.  By making space for wildlife in our gardens we can give Devon’s pollinators a helping hand.”

The National Pollinator Week initiative is highlighting five simple actions that we can all take to help pollinators survive and thrive, these are:

Plant pollinator-friendly flowers, shrubs and trees in your garden.

Leave parts of your garden to grow wild with wildflowers and weeds.
Leave your mower in the shed! And let patches of your lawn to grow long.
Don't disturb insect nests and hibernation spots, and consider putting up a bee box.
Put away the pesticides – they can harm beneficial insects as well as pests.
Sarah Jennings of Devon Local Nature Partnership said “Everyone can do something to provide nectar and pollen for our pollinators and somewhere to live.  Together we can get Devon buzzing!”

There are Devon Pollinator Week events across the county from the 11th to the 18th July, visit the Devon Local Nature Partnership website to find out what is happening near you.