British bees are in decline and they need our help! We asked the Government to develop a Bee Action Plan to address all major causes of bee decline, and they listened! In Summer 2013, Lord de Mauley announced at the Friends of the Earth Bee Summit that the Government would develop a National Pollinator Strategy (aka Bee Action Plan). To be effective, the Bee Action Plan must help all bees and tackle all causes of bee decline. In November 2014, the Government published its National Pollinator Strategy: for bees and other pollinators in England, with a call to action; Bees' Needs.
The Bee Cause in Oxfordshire
Locally, we've held many stalls at festivals, fairs and Farmers' markets to raise awareness and to show how people can help. In Spring 2013 we created the Oxford Bee World - a wildflower mini meadow and pollinator haven on The Kidneys Nature Reserve by the River Thames.
In 2014, we organised the first Oxford Bee Summit and established the Oxfordshire Pollinator Advisory Group, working with both Oxford City and Oxfordshire County Councils to improve the environment for bees and other pollinators. Our bee-saving efforts were recognised by earning an Earthmover award in 2014.
Our 2015 report Towards a thriving future for bees in Oxfordshire highlights action taken to protect bees in Oxfordshire, some of the challenges to creating a truly bee-friendly county, what needs to be done and identification of ways to move forward with action.
We launched Creating a Buzz! in 2015, a lottery-funded project in which we worked with local faith communities to create bee-friendly habitats. Creating a Buzz! shows how people linked to any church, mosque, synagogue or other faith building can make the green spaces around them better for bees.
The Creating a Buzz toolkit was launched in 2016 and is based on work done with a number of faith groups in Oxford. It has been written by local environmental expert and Oxford Friends of the Earth member Jan McHarry, who has extensive experience of working with faith groups.
In 2016 we organised Oxford Bee Fest held at the Museum of Natural History. The festival included the 2nd Oxford Bee Summit and activities to bring people closer to bees.
Our work on bees continues and we're looking for local Bee Champions to build on efforts to protect bees and their habitats. We're always looking for help, so please do contact us if you would like to get involved!
Sowing additional wildflower patches on The Kidneys Nature Reserve (September 2017)
Oxford Bee World scything (November 2016)
Oxford Bee World (July 2016)
Oxford Bee World (June 2015)
Oxford Bee World (June 2014)
Oxford Bee World seed sowing (May 2013)