With wildlife lovers around the planet marking World Bee Day tomorrow (20 May), Mansfield District Council is set to launch a project to make the district a haven for bees.
The council has been busy preparing 39 new street planters with wildflower seeds as part of a new scheme called Bee Kind which aims to boost the amount of flowers in the district to attract more bees and other pollinating insects.
Businesses, community groups and local people are also being encouraged to plant wildflowers to support the campaign and get on board with their own 'bee-friendly' initiatives.
The project will be launched via the council's Facebook page (link opens in new window) from 1 June with competitions, video demonstrations and activities to try at home to nurture wildlife in the area. Parts of the district will also be allowed to re-wild to create green corridors for wildlife.
Twenty of the planters will be dotted around the town centre next month and will provide a fun education trail for children.
Cllr Andy Burgin, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Environment, said: "The exact installation date for the planters is not set in stone as it will depend on how fast the flowers grow in the coming days. We want to make sure they are looking their best before we dress the district ready for summer.
"This Bee Kind scheme is about helping to make Mansfield a greener and cleaner place and somewhere that people can be proud to call home.
"As well as 90% of wild plants, globally, 75% of farmed crops depend on bees and other pollinating insects to grow so these small creatures have a really big impact on our existence, too.
"I encourage everyone who cares about Mansfield to keep checking the council Facebook page for the latest updates about this exciting campaign."
When the planters are in situ, families will be able to follow a trail of bees on a map to hunt for letters marked on seven of the 20 planters, which will spell out a sentence. The trail map and details about the competition will be available from stallholders on Mansfield Market.
Answers can be emailed to email@example.com by 31 July 2021 to be entered into a prize draw to win a £30, £20 or £10 voucher to spend on stalls at Mansfield Market.
Stalls on the market will also be giving away free seeds to encourage local people to be involved in Bee Kind. Details of which traders are participating and on which days will soon be available on the council website (link opens in new window).
There will also be lots of useful Bee Kind information and videos posted to the council’s Facebook page during the course of the campaign over the summer.
Among the videos will be one featuring local bee keeper, Martyn Belcher, of Mansfield Honey Bees. He will be explaining how bees make honey, why wildflowers are so important for bees and will be waxing lyrical about the wonders of beeswax.
He said: “Bees are such an important part of our environment so it’s vital we work together to spread awareness about them. I’m thankful to be asked to talk about honey bees for the Bee Kind project.
"Mansfield Honey bees offers help and advice to people who have honey bee swarms in their homes and businesses around the district. We show people how we safely remove and re-home them.”
There are lots of interesting bee facts on the campaign web pages as well as information about which types of flowers are best to plant to encourage bees, gardening tips, details about how to make a planter or bug hotel and ideas for nature craft activities for youngsters and schools.
Part of the Bee Kind scheme involves allowing areas of council-owned land in the district to naturalise, to help create wildlife corridors. They can be identified by new signs going up which say: “Excuse the weeds, we’re feeding the bees”.
The Bee Kind project comes under a wider Cleaner Greener Mansfield council campaign. Details of this can be found on the council website (link opens in new window).