University of Exeter partners with Green&Blue to launch the first Solitary Bee Week
Long-horn bee (Eucera longicornis)
The University of Exeter's Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) has partnered with Cornish product designers, Green&Blue, to host the first Solitary Bee Week from 2nd to 8th July 2018.
Although most people are aware of honeybees and bumblebees, solitary bees are the unsung heroes of the pollinating world. With over 240 species in the UK alone, they make up 90% of the bee population and, along with other pollinating animals, are responsible for one third of all the food we eat. Solitary Bee Week is a week of action and education, to raise awareness of these incredible pollinators.
Working together on Solitary Bee Week, the ESI and Green&Blue have launched the 'Earn Your Stripes' campaign to encourage people to find ways of helping solitary bees. Offering some simple pledge options, such as leaving a patch of your garden to grow wild or planting a nectar rich flower, the team will award those that take part with 'Solitary Bee Hero' status.
Red mason bee on bee brick
Solitary Bee Week has also joined forces with schools and businesses to promote the wearing of stripes on Wednesday 4th July, to illustrate the variety of solitary bee species and their multitude of visual differences. Using the #earnyourstripes and #solitarybeeweek on social media the aim is to create a buzz and an online conversation to help spread the word.
“Solitary Bee Week is our chance to give something back and to spread the word about these Bee species that we have quickly realised people just don't know about,” Said Faye Clifton of Green&Blue. “It's an ambitious project, but if we can help people take some simple actions for our bees and learn something new then it's a very worthwhile project.”
The Solitary Bee Week team will be earning their own stripes by hosting school assemblies, and using social media platforms to educate people on the importance of solitary bees. There are free toolkits available for Solitary Bee Heroes to host their own talks in the local community or for schools to deliver their own Solitary Bee assemblies.
For more information about Solitary Bee Week, please visit www.solitarybeeweek.com or follow @solitarybeeweek on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.