As Defra’s Bees’ Needs Week comes to a close- including Chester Bee Summit- What next?

As Defra’s (Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) Bees’ Needs week comes to an end and Chester & District Friends of the Earth (FoE) Chester Bee Summit 2016 has passed, the team are now reflecting on what’s next. How can we achieve our objective of filling Chester & Flintshire in Wildflowers, in line with Defra’s National Pollination Strategy:

As a campaigning organisation the work we do for FoE is in our spare time on a voluntary basis,so Bee Cakeit was important that we also achieved our objectives from the day. We arranged a half day event, the last session included homemade cakes and scones by the FoE team.

We wanted to:

1-Provide education to individuals

  • To make people more aware of the need to support all types of pollinators
  • What you people do at home to create wildflower space/flowers for bees

2-We wanted to link with business, councils and link each other

  •  Provide them with links to other businesses/hints and tips
  • Provide them with links to councillors and Chester & Cheshire West Council.
  • Arrange meetings with Chester & District FoE, on how they could take the ideas forward within the business.

3- Work with community groups to create wildlife areas.

We asked the attendees what they what they wanted from the event.

Survey Image

During the day we heard from a team of fantastic speakers.

Sandra Bell, Nature Campaigner, Friends of the Earth

Carl Clee, Regional and National Bee Specialist, Tony Parker, Assistant Curator (Vertebrate Zoology), Lorna Blackmore, World Museum Liverpool

Dr Phillip Putwain & Timothy Baxter, Botanist, University of Liverpool Botanic Gardens Ness

What next:

  • We hope to work with some local businesses to help them put some plans into place to create wildflower areas.
  • We plan to meet with both Cheshire West & Chester and Flintshire Council’s to see how the region is working forwards the Defra National Pollination Strategy.
  • We are looking for names of any community groups in the region that may need help- do let us know.
  • We want people to complete our Survey- please click here
  • We hope those looking to do more at home, will look into planting some wildflowers or bee friendly plans, as a result of the bee summit.

Sign up with Chester Zoo to get your garden buzzing with bees

Register your garden on the Wildlife Connections page, see image below.

Zoo WC Map

Bee Swarms- What to do?

The topic of Bee Swarms came up and I have since completed some resreach. British Bee Keepers Association (BBKA) can only deal with Honey Bees, they do have a good guide to other types of bees. If you have a Honey Bee swarm they will point you to local Bee Keepers,

Bumble Bees- the sites confirms this type of bee is often confused with Honey Bees but is larger, rounder and furrier, they rarely sting or attack. The suggestion is if possible leave the bees alone and they will die off after the end of the summer. The same point is made about Solitary Bees although smaller and often seen coming out of holes in walls or the ground.

See here.

Cheshire West and Chester do have information on pest control. They will remove many pests including Wasps, but it doesn’t include Bees or any information on what to do.

It was mentioned that some large business have a company policy to contact Rentokil– when looking at the Rentokil web site, they will only remove Wasps, they put businesses in touch with BBKA with regards to bees, so as above. It may be worth making staff within any private businesses aware of this information.

Want to know more

Check out these links to find out more information: