World Bee Day in Waltham Forest

A cartoon bee
Published: 16 May 2024
Filed under: Climate change

On World Bee Day (20 May 24) we are celebrating pollinator species such as bees and other insects, and the vital role they play enriching our local ecosystem and green spaces.

These interesting insects contribute to our food security and are vital for conservation and biodiversity. And you can show your support for bees, pollinators and other insects across the borough by creating a #BeeFriendlyNeighbourhood on your street. 

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate and Air Quality explains: “We know local people want to help us respond to the climate and biodiversity crisis. By volunteering to create a #BeeFriendlyStreet you can help improve our streets and enable vital pollinators to thrive.”

What is a #BeeFriendly Street?

When you create a #BeeFriendlyStreet you have an opportunity to manually remove what are traditionally viewed as 'weeds' on your road, and as a result, the Council refrains from using typical methods of removal involving chemical weedkiller. 

Typically, a group of residents will work together to maintain the area as team, meaning between everyone, it doesn’t take up very much time at all. 

This small change made by residents is far more sustainable for pollinators such as bees and helps the Council continue to reduce the use of chemicals in its management of local streets. 

Cllr Loakes continues: “Creating a #BeeFriendlyStreet is simple. It is also a great way of connecting with your neighbours. And vitally, by spending just few hours on your street each year, you can massively contribute to improving local biodiversity. 

“Please get in touch and we’ll give you all the support you need to create bee and pollinator havens in naturally beautiful streets.

“Tackling the climate crisis and securing net zero in carbon emissions is part of Mission Waltham Forest, the Council’s ambitious plan to improve life for people living and working in the borough. 

“Our residents overwhelmingly support action to reduce our climate impact and want to be part of the change. It is time for us to harness this resolve by equipping residents with the tools to make the impact they want to see.” 

Email the Council to apply for a #BeeFriendlyStreet in your neighbourhood.  

Creating a buzz for biodiversity and climate action 

World Bee Day raises awareness on the essential role bees and other pollinators play in keeping people and the planet healthy, and the many challenges they face. It also celebrates honey production and sustainable beekeeping. 

Dr Tony Madgwick, the Recorder for Bees and Moths for the Natural History Society dedicates time to conservation of bees right here in the borough. He explains that our local, wild population of pollinators need to be at the forefront of our thinking and conservation efforts.  

Tony says: “Honeybees are responsible for honey production but they are not endangered. The native bee species in our local environment are the ones vital for biodiversity and a healthy ecosystem. 

“Parks and green spaces in Waltham Forest are good places to see a large range of different types of pollinators including bees. 

“The richer and more diverse the environment, the richer and more diverse the pollinators. We need to help create and expand networks of nature rich areas to help our pollinators flourish so it’s worth everyone thinking about the small steps we can take to help.”

You can see more of Tony and his conservation work in a video on ‘X’, filmed for last year’s World Bee Day, which also features local people discussing their #BeeFriendlyStreet.