Great British bee count

Date published: 01 May 2015

People are being urged to take part in the Great British Bee Count 2015, which takes place throughout May.

Organised by Friends of the Earth, Buglife and Waitrose, the Great British Bee Count is backed by TV wildlife presenters Steve Backshall, Michaela Strachan and Miranda Krestovnikoff and aims to build on the success of last year’s inaugural event when over 23,000 people recorded more than 830,000 bees.

Gardeners in Greater Manchester are also being asked to make their gardens more bee-friendly and provide crucial havens for our threatened pollinators. The forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend is an ideal opportunity to get started.

Manchester Friends of the Earth Bee Cause campaigner Catherine Thomson said: "The UK has already lost 20 bee species, and a further quarter are on the threatened species list. A big reason is that bees depend on flowers for food – and in the past 60 years 97% of our wildflower meadows have disappeared. But the good news is that we can all help change things. By planting flowers rich in nectar and pollen we can start to replace their lost habitats."

Key issues:


  • Bees are under threat: Over 20 UK bee species are already extinct and about 25% of the remaining 267 species are at risk. 
  • Bees pollinate 75% of our main food crops worldwide, including some of our favourite produce like apples, strawberries and tomatoes. Scientists estimate it would cost over £1.8 billion every single year to pollinate UK crops by hand.
  • We can all play our part in protecting them – especially by creating bee-friendly havens gardens and allotments. Friends of the Earth has tips and guidance on bee-friendly gardening.
  • People can also help scientists build up a picture of how our beleaguered bees are faring by down-loading the free smartphone app and joining the Great British Bee Count 2015: It’s fun, informative and easy to take part. 


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