London Will Welcome a 7-Mile ‘Bee Corridor’ This Summer

In light of a 2016 study that found a third of British wild bees and hoverflies are in decline, the North London Borough of Brent decided to take action.

Bees and other insects are vital for pollinating crops that provide the food we eat. To safeguard this valuable ecosystem service, the Brent Council has opted to grow a seven-mile long “bee corridor” of wildflowers that will hopefully boost the number of bees and other pollinating insects. 

A few interesting facts about bees from the British Beekeepers Association:

  • There are about 250 species of bees.
  • Bees have a top speed of about 15 to 20 mph when flying to a food source.
  • These insects can fly as far as 5 miles for food, although the average distance is less than half a mile from the hive.
  • There are an average of 35,000 to 40,000 bees in a hive at the height of summer, but this numeber drops to 5,000 in winter.

Brent Council is sowing 22 wildflower meadows in its parks and open spaces in North London, the first initiative of its kind in London. Workers are already busy digging and preparing the areas that have been selected. Once that task is complete, a mixture of seeds will be sown. 

According to project’s manager Kelly Eaton, “The team curated the mix of wildflowers with bees and other insects in mind, choosing varieties that would attract these pollinators.”

Krupa Seth, the Council’s lead member for the environment, is committed to doing all she can to help bees thrive:

I’m proud of Brent’s commitment to boost biodiversity in the borough and look forward to seeing the meadows in full bloom in just a few month’s time.

According to the 2016 study, the decline of wildflowers was cited as a major factor in the decline in pollinating insects in the U.K. since the 1980s. Researchers also found that loss of wild habitats has resulted in more than 97 percent of the U.K.’s wildflower meadows disappearing since 1945.

The Independent explains:

Many butterflies, bees, dragonflies and moths rely on these flowers to thrive. Insect pollinators are vital for the maintenance of ecosystem health and for global food security. Insects are required to maintain the existence of 75 percent of crop species, 35 percent of global crop production and up to 88 percent of flowering plant species.”

Even more alarming, a major United Nations report published on May 6 gave details of the devastating impact we humans are having on the natural world. As Care2’s Alicia Graef writes, thanks to the destruction of plants and animals by people, the future of humanity is threatened. The study found that wild mammals have declined by 82 percent since 1980, and that one million species are facing extinction in the sixth mass die-off on Earth.

Unless we take action, that extinction will in turn lead to future generations being at risk as our life-support systems collapse.

The Borough of Brent sets an example for other London boroughs and, indeed, for conservationists around the world to follow.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

84 comments

Alice R
Alice R3 days ago

excellent

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Olivia H
Olivia H5 days ago

TYFS

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Ingrid A
Isabel A11 days ago

Thanks very much

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Ben O
Ben Oscarsitoabout a month ago

Right on, without our bees we are in deep shite!

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Brandy S
Brandy Sabout a month ago

Thank you.

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Callie R
Callie Rabout a month ago

Thanks.

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Laura R
Laura Rabout a month ago

Thank you.

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Cathy B
Cathy Babout a month ago

Good news, thank you!

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Toni W
Toni Wabout a month ago

TYFS

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Toni W
Toni Wabout a month ago

TYFS

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