This Summer Our Bees Need You!

Join the Great British Bee Count to help build a nationwide picture of bees’ health. There’s currently no accurate picture of the condition of bees in the UK.

We know that bees are going hungry and homeless.  A big problem is the loss of their vital habitat, with 97% of wildflower meadows gone in the past 60 years.

Already more than 20 species of bee have become extinct – and more than a quarter are under threat.

We can’t take bees for granted. These little creatures provide an essential link in our food chain – every day we eat fruit and vegetables pollinated by bees.

But you can help. Tell us about the bees you see to help scientists keep track of bees’ health. You don’t need to be an expert to take part, simply choose which bee best matches what you see in our easy-to-use free app.

Scientists will be able to use your data to see where bees are thriving – and where they’re in trouble. To help experts assess the practical steps needed to reverse the decline of our bees, this information about location and numbers is crucial.

As well as recording your bee sightings for the Great British Bee Count, you can help bees by growing plants they need for food and shelter, at home or in your local area.

Are there any bees in your garden? In your local park? Which types of bee do you see?

– See more at: http://greatbritishbeecount.co.uk

Concerns over the plight of pollinators have led to the UK government launching plans to protect the insects

Organisers of the UK’s first nation-wide bee count hope a new smartphone app will create a buzz among the nation’s citizen scientists.

They hope thousands of people will log their sightings in order to give scientists a vital insight into the health of bee populations.

There is growing concern about wild bee numbers, as many species have recorded a serious decline in recent years.

Participants can also submit their data on the Great British Bee Count website.

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The survey’s organisers hope thousands of people will submit their sightings

The app – developed by charity Buglife, Friends of the Earth and retailer B&Q – allows users to report the species, number and location of bees they spot between now and the end of August.

The submissions will provide data to the National Biodiversity Network, which collates data from a wide range of national, regional and local organisations in order to provide a comprehensive overview of UK wildlife.

“The data that people collect will do an important job to help scientists fill in the blanks about where bees are thriving and where they are in trouble,” explained bumblebee conservation expert Prof Dave Goulson from the University of Sussex.

Andy Atkins, executive director of Friends of the Earth, added: “The great thing is that you do not have to be an expert, everyone can get involved and be part of the generation that helps save our bees.”

According to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, there are about 250 species of bee in the UK, and the survey hopes to build up a more detailed picture of the range and behaviour of certain species.

For example, the establishment of the non-native tree bumblebee on these shores, since its arrival at the turn of the century. Researchers would be interested to know more about the species’ spread northwards.

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