POLLINATORS ARE A KEY PART OF BIODIVERSITY AND INDICATE HEALTHY ENVIRONMENTS AND ECOSYSTEMS THAT ALL LIFE DEPENDS ON
We need diverse communities of pollinators to stabilise and maximise pollination for crops and decrease reliance on managed honeybees.
Worldwide, we have over 20,000 species of bees, and almost the same number of butterfly and moth species. In the UK we have around 270 species of bees, just under 250 of which are solitary or 'wild' bees. We also have 59 species of butterflies and 2,500 species of moths in the UK. Solitary bees are highly effective pollinators but tend not to live in colonies. Honeybees are the only bee species that makes honey.
POLLINATORS AND PLANTS INTERACT IN MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL WAYS
Pollinators - bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and other insects and small mammals such as lizards - feed on pollen and nectar and pollinate 87% of the world’s flowering plant species. When pollinators visit flowering plants, they inevitably get some pollen on their bodies which they transfer from flower to flower, enabling pollination. Around 87% of the world’s flowering plant species are pollinated in this way.
The entire life cycle of bees is dependent upon bees visiting flowering plants – these interactions result in pollination and in the proliferation of plants that provide around 77% of our global food supply. Of the 100 crops that provide 90% of the world’s food supply, bees pollinate 71.
Pollination ensures fertilisation and enables the plant to produce full-bodied fruit and viable seeds. At the same time, flowering plants are a food source, providing nectar and pollen that pollinators depend on for their survival. That’s not all – most flowering plants depend on pollinators for their survival. Without pollinators most plants would die and the many small animal species that also rely on nectar, pollen, seeds and fruit would also decline and die, triggering catastrophic effects for other species right up through the food chain and ecosystem.
It is the combination of life forms and their interactions with each other and with the rest of the environment that has made Earth a uniquely habitable place for humans.
POLLINATORS ARE UNDER THREAT DUE TO LOSS OF FLOWER-RICH HABITAT. CREATING AND CONSERVING SUSTAINABLE HABITAT IS CRITICAL
Our holistic efforts contribute to long-term social, cultural, globally relevant change.
In cities, we focus on conservation for cities. We design improvements at domestic scale to transform gardens, rooftops and unused spaces into nectar and pollen havens for a variety of bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies and moths. Our rooftop habitats have apiaries with remote hive-monitoring systems to bring new understanding of bee health and maintenance and contribute to urgently needed best practice guidelines for honeybee management.
We aim to develop efficient, technologically-advanced urban farms as a key part of the solution to food security, directly impacting urban ecology, generating employment and business growth, and encouraging community cohesion and human wellbeing.
In the countryside, we focus on conservation for the countryside. Guided by scientists and biodiversity experts we can design and sustainably maintain small and landscape-scale specific breeding habitats and nectar sources for a variety of wild bees and other pollinators such as butterflies and moths.
In farmlands, we aim to focus on conservation for food and environmental sustainability. Our research approach in sustainable agriculture intensification includes ecological, economic and social dimensions, where food and nutrition security, gender and equity are crucial components.
Across the UK, we create and manage both small and landscape-scale sustainable habitats in collaboration with leading biodiversity experts, and with Gavin Jones, a professional landscape services company which has won awards for projects undertaken for 2012 London Olympics - Queen Elizabeth Park, Potters Field Park, Bluewater Shopping Centre, Land Securities, Coca-Cola, The Level - Brighton and Google UK, amongst others, and are appointed Royal Warrant Holders for Landscape Services to HM The Queen.
The bee symbolises our ultimate goal of placing the natural world at the heart of public policy.