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Fact of the week: Scientists believe female Red Mason Bees can travel up to 800 metres from their nest in search of pollen. However, studies show the average distance most will travel is just 30-50 metres from the nest.
Protecting our United Kingdom's Pollinators
We all have a part to play in supporting our UK Pollinators. That can be:
- Fitting a bee box southward facing on an outside wall.
- Planting flowers and trees that attract pollinators during the summer months.
- Informing others about the important role pollinating insects play in supporting the food chain on this planet!
So what your school is doing supporting “Perfect Pollinators” is very special and over the next 12 to 18 months you will see why.
Your school is actively supporting and protecting our UK Pollinators!
This year 2017. The box that you have fitted on an outside wall has inside it four to five trays. Each tray if filled can hold between 20 and 30 cocoons. Multiply that figure by 5 and each bee box can be home to up to 100 Red Mason bee cocoons!
Now let us all step forward to March 2018. If most of your cocoons open then about 50 male and 50 female Red Mason bees will exit hibernation. Summer 2018 the 50 new female Red Mason bees are each capable of laying between 20 and 30 eggs. If all these eggs grow then by September 2018 you will have over 1000 Red Mason Bee cocoons in your school grounds.
Question - Carry on like this for 2 or 3 more years and how many Red Mason cocoons do you think you will have in 2020?
What should our school do with its stock of Red Mason Bee Cocoons?
Here are four things you could do with your new Red Mason bee cocoons.
- Give your excess stock to a local farmer, fruit grower or vineyard so that the bees can pollinate their crops.
- Give some of your excess bees to a local school so that they can join the Perfect Pollinators Schools Red Mason bee project.
- Give bees to pupils in your school so that the bees next spring and summer can pollinate the flowers and plants in their gardens.
- Fit more bee boxes around your school so you can continue increasing your solitary bee numbers and each year give more bee cocoons to local farmers, growers and schools.
So there you have it. Lots of possible ways your school can support our UK pollinators and hopefully after reading or listening to this article you can confidently explain to others the important work you’re your school is doing helping UK pollinators and the work they do supporting the food chain. Just remember as you watch these amazing insects one in three mouthfuls of food and drink we consume on this planet requires pollen!
Buzzline will be back with a new report on Monday 26th June 2017.
Red Mason bee visits flower (Top left) Female Red Mason bee (Top right)
Sandown School bee Box (Top right) Sandown School bee tray (Top left)
Bees in garden (Middle left) Apple orchard (Middle right)
School pupils (Bottom left) Vegetables (Bottom right)