It’s hard to know what to make of the bee survey results reported in the Guardian in August. The headline, which seems misleading, was:
Bee count finds school grounds abuzz as their favourite habitat
The report began:
“Schools and gardens have beaten farmland and the countryside in a survey to determine Britain’s most bee-friendly habitats. This May saw more than 6,000 people with cameras and smartphones take part in the annual Great British Bee Count, organised by Friends of the Earth. Over the course of the month, a total of 104,290 individual bees were recorded and 4,800 images submitted. School grounds were found to host the greatest abundance of the insects, with an average of 11 bees per sighting. Woodland habitat came second, at around eight bees per sighting. Gardens were home to the greatest variety of bee species, with nearly a quarter of people (22.43%) recording four or more different kinds of bees per count, compared with 17.6% of people in allotments, 10.24% in farmland and 9.74% in the countryside. White-tailed bumblebees proved to be the most common species among all of the sightings, with nearly half of all participants (49%) spotting the bee during surveys, while honey bees were not far behind at 48.6%. Regionally, the south of England featured the greatest number of bees recorded (23,997), while London (14,098) and the east of England (10.052) were second and third respectively.”
The Guardian adds: “The finding that Britain’s bees appear to be doing better outside of rural areas is likely to be a reflection of greater sampling in towns and cities“‘ which has to make you wonder what reliance (if any) can be placed on the data.
But it’s good to see people taking note of bees.