The Great British Bee Count – a fun, free activity for all the family

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TV presenters Michaela Strachan and Ellie Harrison are urging people to take part in Friends of the Earth’s Great British Bee Count, which begins today (Friday, 19 May 2017) and runs until 30 June. 

The Great British Bee Count (19 May-30 June), is a rewarding activity for children to discover more about the fascinating world of Britain’s bees. 

With a fun, FREE and informative app, the Great British Bee Count - which was featured on last year’s BBC Springwatch - is ideal for all the family. The Great British Bee Count, which runs to the end of June, encourages people to:

•  identify and record the common bee species that visit our gardens, parks and countryside 
•  learn more about the amazing diversity of Britain’s bees – there are over 250 bee species in the UK 
•  take steps to help these under-threat pollinators – for example, by creating bee-friendly gardens and other spaces

Over fifteen thousand people took part in last year’s Bee Count, which is organised by Friends of the Earth with support from Buglife and sponsored from Waitrose.

People can take part by downloading the free Great British Bee Count app, which enables them to submit details of the bees they spot – and photographs too if they manage to catch them quickly enough! Get the app at: www.greatbritishbeecount.co.uk

There is also a GPS function on the app, which records the location of the bees spotted and posts them onto a map: https://www.foe.co.uk/page/great-british-bee-count-map

Young children can also join in with a Bee Bingo activity sheet: https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/bee-bingo-77793.pdf

14 year old Mya-Rose Craig, also known as Birdgirl, who is taking part in this year’s Great British Bee Count said: 

"I am really looking forward to taking part in the 2017 Great British Bee Count and would encourage other kids to do it too.  I have done several garden bio blitzes, identifying and enjoying the bees in my garden.  Our garden is planted for wildlife and has lots of plants that attract bees, like lavender and borage. 

“I am very worried about more UK bee species becoming extinct. This would be catastrophic not only for nature, but also for pollinating our crops.”

TV presenter Michaela Strachan said: 
 
"The humble bee is a vital pollinator. Buzzing around our gardens and countryside, it's a hard working little insect that pollinates our flowers and crops. But unfortunately these beautiful insects are under-threat. 
 
“By joining the Great British Bee Count you can find out more about the wonderful world of bees, and what you can do to help the plight of the humble bee. The free app includes tips on creating bee-friendly spaces, and will help you find out more about our buzzy friends. So download the app and get spotting!”

TV presenter Ellie Harrison said:

“Friends of the Earth’s Great British Bee Count gives you the opportunity to learn about wild-bee species and to appreciate how important pollinators are in every meal we eat”

Friends of the Earth chief executive Craig Bennett said:

“Bees are crucial pollinators for our fields, gardens and countryside. We can all help these under-threat pollinators with a few simple tips for creating bee-friendly gardens, schools and other open spaces. By taking part in this year’s Great British Bee Count with our fun, free app, you can you can find out more about these fascinating and valuable insects.”

Chief Executive of Buglife, Matt Shardlow, said 

“Bees and other pollinators are essential to life as we know it, but they are disappearing.  The Great British Bee Count  engages people across the UK in looking out for the small things that run the planet, then together we can take action to make a difference for our pollinators.”

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

Over fifteen thousand people took part in last year’s event, which is supported by Buglife, with sponsorship from Waitrose. 

A survey of last year’s participants revealed that 80% said that they were inspired to grow bee-friendly plants, install a bee hotel (40%) and leave a patch of lawn to grow wild (35%)

35 UK bees species are considered under threat of extinction – and across Europe nearly one in ten wild bee species face extinction.

 

@parent

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