Bee nice!

[Metro Mayor Dan Norris at Wheatfield Primary School in Bradley Stoke,  one of the winners of the Mayor’s West of England Bee Bold Awards.]

Dan Norris – the Metro Mayor – is creating a bit of a buzz this month.

He’s urging Bath and NE Somerset residents to give bees the gift of flowers this Valentine’s Day as part of his efforts to help the West’s pollinator superheroes.

Mayor Norris has curated a list of five simple steps to help bees, whose pollinating services are worth around £690 million a year in boosting yields and the quality of yummy fruit and veg.

People can take these super-easy measures like getting green-fingered by planting more flowers that are rich in nectar and pollen, eating local honey and ditching bee-harming pesticides for good.

And schoolchildren are being given a February half-term challenge to build “bee hotels” out of simple items like plastic drinks bottles and string – to give our pollinator pals a home in Bath and NE Somerset, and across the West.

Mayor Norris’s 5 steps to help pollinators this Valentine’s Day:

  1. Get green fingers – grow more flowers in your garden, balcony or allotment that will flower throughout the year. From shrubs to herbs, every pot will help
  2. Leave hibernating insects alone – avoid disturbing or destroying nesting or hibernating insects in places like hedgerows, trees or walls. This is important to make sure the next generation of pollinator pals can survive this winter and to start again this coming spring
  3. Eat local honey – you’ll be supporting a local business (think Yew Tree Farm in Bedminster Down or Easter Compton Farm Shop in Olveston), and their bees. It’s a win win!
  4. Ditch the pesticides for good – pesticides create a toxic environment for all creatures but are especially harmful for bees and other pollinators. Not using them is better for you, your family, pets and the planet
  5. Make your own very Bee Hotel – you can do this using recycled materials to providing spaces for solitary bees to nest. Friends of the Earth have put together a helpful explainer on how to make your very own bee sanctuary: