Bee-ing kind to struggling bugs in Brighton

The Argus: Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth and Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods clearing ground for bee habitats Buy this photo » Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth and Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods clearing ground for bee habitats

A haven has been created for beleaguered bees as new research hopes to save the queen bees of the insect world.

Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth and Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods set up the site to create the perfect habitat for the threatened species.

The groups helped to clear the overgrown south facing bank to expose chalky soil, which some bees love.

Lesley Brown, projects officer of Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods said: “We are really pleased to be creating a new environment which will not only encourage bees, but a whole range of other wildlife in the woods.”

Monica Jennings of Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth added: “We hope to encourage a range of solitary bees such as Red Mason Bee, Carpenter Bee and Leafcutter Bee.

“Solitary bees are important as crop pollinators and we need to ensure they survive.”

The University of Sussex is also hoping to be an institution to save the world.

It has been awarded £100,000 to continue its work researching honey bees.

Declining bees

The numbers of bees has been declining rapidly in the past few years, with last year’s wet and cool conditions again affecting numbers.

Honey bees are central to our existence through pollination, and the university has now received funding until 2015 for its Sussex Plan for bees.

The plan investigates practical questions that will help to address the wide range of challenges currently facing honey bees, including lack of forage, parasites and diseases.

The money is coming from honey company Rowse Honey.

The Argus: Bee Cause campaigners

In 2009, the company donated £100,000 to help launch the Sussex Plan for honey bee health and well-being.

The long-term research project will also advance practical knowledge of honey bees and social insects.

Professor Francis Ratnieks said: “This support will be vital in maintaining the Sussex Plan, given the challenging climate.

“Rowse were our first corporate donor, and their initial donation played a key role in getting the Sussex Plan going, turning it from an idea into reality.

“It is encouraging to the LASI team that Rowse will be supporting us for three more years.”

See the latest news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Follow @brightonargus

The Argus: Daily Echo on Facebook - facebook.com/southerndailyecho Like us on Facebook

The Argus: Google+ Add us to your circles on Google+

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:16pm Fri 11 Jan 13

BJDBee says...

I hope exposing the soil will help ground nesting, solitary bees. Which bees are expected to nest there? What habitat improvements are there for the Red Mason Bees and/or Leafcutter Bees?
Is Sussex University or Rowse Honey assisting the groups pictured (Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth and Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods)? Or are they focused on the social insects only? Thanks for filling us in on this.
I hope exposing the soil will help ground nesting, solitary bees. Which bees are expected to nest there? What habitat improvements are there for the Red Mason Bees and/or Leafcutter Bees? Is Sussex University or Rowse Honey assisting the groups pictured (Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth and Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods)? Or are they focused on the social insects only? Thanks for filling us in on this. BJDBee

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree