Bees Project

Bumblebee on a sweet pea flower
Bumblebee on a sweet pea flower

Bees numbers are currently in decline, and this is due to many things – most of the wildflower meadows that they thrive in have been cut down over the last 40 years to make way for houses, intensive farming and industry. Pesticides affect them, and diseases are finding them easier to attack once they are weakened by other things.

It’s not just bees either – the sort of habitats that bees like are also very important to other UK wildlife like birds, hedgehogs and butterflies. So anything we can do to help bees will be good for other animals too.

Bees are very important to us, as they pollinate a large amount of our food. Without them, there would be no tomatoes, peppers, strawberries or apples, amongst many other things.

Penistone Friends of the Earth ran stalls at Penistone Gala and Oxspring Open Gardens in 2011, giving out information about how people could make their gardens bee friendly and selling bee friendly flowers. We will be continuing this in 2012.

We also did a public wildflower planting evening in Oxspring Ant Hills and involved children at Oxspring school in planting the bank opposite their school in 2011. In February 2012 we planted woodland wild flowers in Thurlstone, Thurgoland and Green Moor.

In 2013, we worked with Barnsley Council to change the mowing regime in Thurlstone Road Park so it has 2 large meadow areas which are especially good for Lady’d Smock, a food plant of the Orange Tip Butterfly.

In 2014 so far, we have worked with the council to move bluebells in Penistone Cemetary to areas which the council have agreed not to mow and will soon be planting wildflowers on the entrance road.

If you want to help, you can plant bee friendly flowers in your garden. There is a good plant finder on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website: http://beekind.bumblebeeconservation.org/finder . The Royal Horticulturalist Association also have lists of garden flowers and wildflowers which are good for pollinators: http://www.rhs.org.uk/science/conservation-biodiversity/wildlife/encourage-wildlife-to-your-garden/plants-for-pollinators

 

Comments

  1. Angela Crossland says:

    I’m keen to join your group. I have been trying to arrange a slot with the Board at Cannon Hall Park to discuss setting aside a ribbon of land at the top end of the park behind the river for a wild flower meadow. I was going to suggest that this would be of great interest to visitors, encourage a greater insect and therefore bird population and also could be used to attact visits from schools for information days. I think that the message would be so much stronger from your group and I am keen to pursue this. I will attend the next meeting.