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Bees' Needs Week 2018

To celebrate the annual Bees’ Needs Week campaign, coordinated by Defra, in July 2018 Carnaby was renamed ‘Carnabee Street’ to help raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and what people can do all over the country to help them thrive. Across the 14 streets of Carnaby there are over 725 flower window boxes and 80,000 bees living across two bee hives on the roof tops.

The iconic Carnaby Street arch was given a bee-themed makeover, and a pop-up ‘Hive’ opened at 3 Carnaby Street with a host of educational and fun games, installations and talks in partnership with Defra alongside University of Reading, University of East Anglia, Grow Wild/Kew Gardens, Polli:Nation; Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Royal Horticultural Society, Royal Parks, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and many more.

As well as visiting the ’Hive’, visitors to Carnaby were also able to follow an art trail around Carnaby with illustrated bees by London based artist Lizzie King on the window of participating shops and restaurants.  

Bees’ Needs Week is part of DEFRA’s National Pollinator Strategy, a 10 year plan which sets out how Government, beekeepers, conservation groups, farmers and researchers can work together to improve the status of the 1500 or so pollinating insects in England. It prioritises the management and creation of wildlife-rich habitat, raising awareness, managing bee health and strengthening the evidence base. See

Bees and other pollinators are vital to growing our food and contributing to our biodiversity. While collecting pollen for food, pollinators - mainly insects, in particular bees and hoverflies but also butterflies, moths, some beetles and other flying insects – transfer pollen between plants, enabling their fertilisation and growth. 75% of global food crops and nearly 90% of wild flowering plants depend at least to some extent on animal pollination. Pollinators are estimated to be worth one-third of a trillion pounds to global food production each year.

However, despite all they do for us, pollinators face a range of pressures from habitat loss to pests and diseases. Defra’s research shows that the overall numbers of pollinating insects has declined since 1980. Globally, one in ten pollinating insects is on the verge of extinction. Therefore, the dangers they face also threaten the UK’s £100bn food industry, which is at the heart of our economy.

Schools from Hampshire and Cornwall were awarded the Bees’ Needs Champion Award to recognise their invaluable work in helping pollinators thrive and in educating younger generations about the importance of bees and their role in our environment.

There are some simple things we can all do to bring about the best possible conditions for bees and other insects to flourish.

5 key actions people can take to help our bee population:

  • Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees
  • Leave patches of land to grow wild
  • Cut grass less often
  • Do not disturb insect nests and hibernation spots
  • Think carefully about using pesticides

Shaftesbury were delighted to be awarded a Bees’ Needs Champions Award 2018 in recognition of our work during Bees’ Needs Week.