Bee Friendly GENEO installs EBee Chargers on The Parade
So, I like to come up with ideas and then make everyone else do the hard graft!
The importance of bees
During the first lockdown, I started to think a lot about bees. Bees and other pollinators are struggling at the moment. Over 97% of wildflower meadows have been destroyed over the past 50 years to make way for agriculture and urbanisation, eradicating much of the natural habitat for bees. The use of strong pesticides, both for agriculture and in our gardens, has led to further declines in their numbers. The effects of climate change are adding to their difficulties.
Why do bees matter? Well, apart from being much-loved visitors to our parks and gardens, bees pollinate over 75% of world food crops. Together with other pollinators, their pollination services are worth an estimated £691 million per year in the UK alone. Without bees, the variety of food produce on sale would be severely reduced and the price would increase, as people would have to be employed to carry out the work of these pollinators.
Bee Friendly Kenilworth and Leamington
In May 2020 I helped to start up a community group, ‘Bee Friendly Kenilworth,’ which is working with the council and local people to increase the bee population by improving conditions for bees and other pollinators. As a result of all the progress made, Kenilworth was awarded ‘Bee Friendly Town’ status by the Bee Friendly Trust in 2022. We are now starting up ‘Bee Friendly Leamington’ to do similar work here. Recognising the importance of any nectar and pollen-rich flowers in keeping bees alive, we have started up a campaign, ‘Fuel Up Your Front Garden for Bees.’ Foraging is very energy intensive and Bumblebees need to feed on nectar every 40 minutes, otherwise they literally conk out and die. Even the smallest pot of lavender on a door-step or window-sill could keep a bumblebee alive and, if that bee is a queen bee, that means these flowers could secure a whole, future colony of bees.
Bee Friendly GENEO
With this in mind, I set GENEO employees, Josh King, Orkun Yenikaya and Adam West to work with director, Mark Radley, to construct and fill 3 large planters for bees (aka EBee Chargers) for our front and back doors.
Josh, our plant expert, selected a variety of plants loved by bees and other pollinators, including lavender, salvia, ajuga, campanula, nepeta (cat mint), alliums, rosemary, thyme and scabious. Bees see colours from a different spectrum to human beings and are particularly sensitive to blues and purples.
Our flowers are predominantly these blues and purples, but it was still amazing how quickly the bees found our planters. These planters are now alive with many bees of different species.
Our first recorded Bee
Check out the first recorded refuelling in flight. Strange how the bees found our bee station which is on the parade, away from other greenery. Anyway, we were blown away by how this little creature found us literally only days after our first flowers bloomed.
GENEO recently sponsored me to deliver a bee awareness assembly and pollinator-friendly seed planting activity at two primary schools in Coventry and Warwickshire and donated a flowering tree for the school grounds.
Watch this space for further Bee Friendly sponsorship.