Bee a friend

pink white petaled flower

A chance for more people to join in the campaign to help Nature’s pollinators – as an awards scheme to showcase the fantastic work “pollinator pal” West of England groups of all shapes and sizes are doing to support bees returns for a second year. 

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris visits various sites across the region. At Thornbury Streamside Orchard with the Orchard Group who have taken part in the Bee Bold awards. March 2023.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris’s “Bee Bold Awards 2023” will open for submissions today, Wednesday 22 March and will close at 11.59pm on Friday 28 April. From offices to schools, community allotments to factories, all pollinator-loving organisations across Bath and NE Somerset are encouraged to take part in.

The competition looks to celebrate the amazing bee buddy groups in Bath and NE Somerset, and across the West, who have gone above and beyond to look after the region’s busy bugs. This could be through creating a blossoming community patch, nature-friendly allotments – or everything in between.  

The competition will be split into two categories: Space for Nature – recognising organisations that have created gardens or pollinator spaces within their workplaces – and People for Nature – recognising organisations that engage their employees, customers or communities to create places for nature.

In 2022’s awards scheme, over 40 pollinator-friendly firms and groups right across the region applied to take part in the inaugural Bee Bold Awards – with six eventual “Pollinator Champion” winners.

Up to three finalists from each category will be chosen by Mr Norris’s expert pollinator panel of judges, and all finalists will receive an award and be promoted across the region. Winners will be announced in early June.

From buzzing bumble bees – a pollinator favourite for many – to beautiful butterflies, the UK’s 1,500 species of pollinators play a crucial role, pollinating 84% of our crops and 80% of our wildflowers and contributing significantly to the regional economy.

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris visits various sites across the region. At Thornbury Streamside Orchard with the Orchard Group who have taken part in the Bee Bold awards. March 2023.

The 2023 Bee Bold Awards will be launched today by Metro Mayor Dan Norris at Thornbury Orchard – a winner in 2022’s People for Nature category –  at 12.45pm (Swallow Park, Thornbury, Bristol) He said: “Calling all Bath and NE Somerset pollinator pal groups – please get involved and share your brilliant ideas to help the West of England’s pollinators. Because bees and pollinators do such vital work on our behalf, flying from crop to crop, tree to tree meaning we get delicious West of England food and drink like strawberries or cider. 2022’s pollinator champions are doing exceptional things to return the favour. But I know there are even more amazing organisations of all sizes doing their bit to look after Bath and NE Somerset’s pollinators. With the Bee Bold Awards, 2023, we’ll give them the recognition they so utterly deserve”.

Thornbury Orchard Group took over the management of a local orchard planted in the area in the mid 1990s and have since planted a wildflower meadow home to damselflies, red mason bees and more, and even a bee bank for ground nesting bees. The stream on site provides mud for Thornbury’s bees to seal their nests.

For a ‘hive’ of information on how to apply visit:https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/bee-and-pollinator-capital/bee-bold-awards/