Bee Kind – how Frugi are helping to save the sound of summer
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust was set-up nine years ago, to address the worrying decline in UK bumblebee populations. As agriculture has intensified, over 97 percent of our nation’s wildflower meadows have disappeared – leaving bumblebees hungry and homeless. In the last 80 years two species of bumblebee have become extinct and there are declines in most of our other species.
During the past three years Frugi have donated £44,000 to help raise awareness and educate local communities and school children across the UK about the important role bumblebees play in all our lives. As vital pollinators of everyday favourites including strawberries, raspberries, apples and tomatoes our diet would be very bland without bumblebees!
Gardening for bumblebees is one of the most effective ways to help their populations. British gardens cover more than 1 million acres in the UK and can be a lifeline for bumblebees, so by planting bee-friendly flowers, we can all help to save the sound of summer. Bumblebee season is from March to October and during this time bumblebees need feeding.
Bee-friendly flowers are those that are rich in pollen and nectar. To help gardeners become more bee-friendly, the Trust have created a ‘Bee Kind’ tool on their website. Gardeners can go online and select which flowers they already have in their garden – they will be given a score for ‘friendliness’, as well as advice on what else to plant to get their gardens buzzing!
By supporting the Trust’s BeeWalk project Frugi are helping to gather vital evidence about bumblebee populations and abundance in the UK. The project relies on volunteers to monitor and survey the bumblebees they see while out walking a fixed route, once a month during bumblebee season. This vital piece of work will help detect early warning signs in population decline and make sure we are able to safeguard the future of this charismatic and iconic insect, not just for our children and young people today but future generations.