Devon Local Nature Partnership has launched its ‘Build for Bees’ competition to inspire the public to provide habitats for pollinators.
It was launched at the Devon Outdoor Learning and Sustainability Conference at Buckfast Abbey as part of the ‘Get Devon Buzzing’ campaign.
Prizes include an exclusive tour of Goren Farm near Honiton, memberships to the Devon Wildlife Trust, Buglife and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and wildflower seed packs.
A great activity for schools, the competition aims to encourage the public to get outdoors and to take part in practical conservation by building bug hotels to provide crucial habitats for pollinators, which are in serious decline.
For inspiration you can look at bug hotels across Devon including at Cricklepit Mill Garden (Devon Wildlife Trust), Bowling Green Marsh (RSPB) and Thorveton recreation ground.
Throughout the summer a series of events and workshops will be held including at Goren Festival at Goren Farm on National Meadow Day (1st July), and wild bee family fun days run by The Devon Wildlife Trust in August.
Pollinator surveys and bug hunts by Buglife, as part of the ‘Torbay’s Buzzing’ project, are also being organised.
Megachile leaf-cutter bees are a group of pollinator species which can benefit greatly from bug hotels. These species build parts of their nests using sections of leaves which they cut up. Incorporating bunches of bamboo canes into a bug hotel build can provide a great structure for some of these species to nest in.
Suzanne Goodfellow, Chair of the Devon Local Nature Partnership said: “The ‘Build for Bees’ competition is not only great for pollinators, but also provides a fantastic opportunity to be more healthy by getting active outdoors as part of our May 2017 Naturally Healthy Month.”
Andrew Whitehouse, South West Manager for Buglife said: “Bees and other pollinating insects need your help. Planting wildflowers will boost sources of nectar and pollen, and making a bee hotel will provide a place for bees to nest. Different bees have different needs – some will nest in hollow plant stems or holes in dead wood, others prefer to nest in the ground or in a bee bank. So think about a bees needs when designing your build.”
Entries will be placed into three categories, Schools or other education providers, Community groups and individuals. The competition closes at 5pm on 15th September 2017.
Visit the Natural Devon website www.naturaldevon.org.uk for more information about the competition and the partnership’s May 2017 Naturally Healthy month.