‘Build for Bees’ competition launched

Posted on: 20 March 2017

The ‘Build for Bees’ competition, aimed at inspiring people to take part in ‘practical conservation’ by building habitats for Devon’s declining pollinators, has been launched.

Over 70 years up to 97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have been lost, one of the main reasons why our pollinators are declining.

The competition, launched by the Devon Local Nature Partnership, a partnership of wildlife and nature organisations, landowners and local authorities including Devon County Council, seeks to galvanise the public into building special habitats or ‘bee’ hotels.

Entries will be placed into one of three categories, Schools or other education providers, Community groups and individuals.

Part of the Get Devon Buzzing, entrants have the chance of winning prizes including an exclusive tour of Goren Farm near Honiton, memberships to the Devon Wildlife Trust, Buglife and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and wildflower seed packs.

For inspiration you can look at bug hotels across Devon including at Cricklepit Mill Garden (Devon Wildlife Trust), Bowling Green Marsh (RSPB) and Thorverton Recreation Ground.

Throughout the summer a series of events and workshops will be held including at Goren Festival at Goren Farm on National Meadow Day (1st July), and wild bee family fun days run by The Devon Wildlife Trust in August.

Pollinator surveys and bug hunts by Buglife, as part of the ‘Torbay’s Buzzing’ project, are also being organised.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said:

“Bees, and other pollinators, are essential to food production and therefore to our lives.  We are all now very aware that the bee population has been declining at an alarming rate in recent years due to a range of factors and that we must all work together to reverse this decline.

“This competition  gives schools, community groups and the general the public the opportunity to take part in practical conservation work that can help safeguard our pollinators.”

Suzanne Goodfellow, Chair of the Devon Local Nature Partnership said:

“The ‘Build for Bees’ competition is not only great for pollinators, but also provides a fantastic opportunity to be more healthy by getting active outdoors as part of our May 2017 Naturally Healthy Month.”

Andrew Whitehouse, South West Manager for Buglife said:

Bees and other pollinating insects need your help.  Planting wildflowers will boost sources of nectar and pollen, and making a bee hotel will provide a place for bees to nest.  Different bees have different needs – some will nest in hollow plant stems or holes in dead wood, others prefer to nest in the ground or in a bee bank.  So think about a bees needs when designing your build.”

The competition closes at 5pm on 15th September 2017.

Click here to visit the Natural Devon website.

Posted in: Environment