Bees and other pollinators are vital to growing lots of our favourite foods and for plants to flourish in our fields and gardens.
It is Bees’ Needs Week from 8th to 14th July 2019 and whether you are a farmer, a gardener or a manager of urban or amenity spaces, there is something you can do to help support our valuable insect pollinators.
There are five simple actions you can take to help pollinators and make sure their populations are sustained:
Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees – our mature and exotic plants give long flowering periods for bees and insects.
Let your garden grow wild – we have wildflower meadows located throughout our campuses to encourage biodiversity.
Cut your grass less often – we ensure refuge strips are left uncut along campus watercourses to encourage wildlife.
Don’t disturb insect nest and hibernation spots – we practise sympathetic maintenance regimes and have installed bug hotels and insect palaces throughout our campuses.
Think carefully about whether to use pesticides – we use Integrated Pest Management to minimise the use of pesticides.
The new wildflower meadow that was planted at the rear of Washington Singer earlier this year as part of the Plan Bee Campaign (as reported earlier in Budding News) is flowering. It may be a Plan Bee Project but we give it an A*!
A new project is under way on Streatham Campus to help boost the bee population. The Plan Bee project hopes aims to raise awareness of bee populations on campus through monitoring, communications, building small scale bee sanctuaries and planting more ‘bee-friendly’ plants.
Plan Bee, lead by Holly Dowles, a 3rd year student, alongside Christine Soper, Sustainability Co-ordinator for Psychology (Washington Singer), the Student Green Unit and the Grounds Team’s Central Estate team have recently created two new wildflower areas near Washington Singer and South Piazza ponds.
Holly Is hoping that if the areas are big enough, they would be eligible for ‘Bee World’ status through Friends of the Earth, making the space nationally recognised for supporting Bee and other insects.