Hive of Activity To Raise Awareness of Bees’ Needs

13 July 2018
Topic: Biodiversity
Type: News
Hive of Activity To Raise Awareness of Bees’ Needs

Hive of Activity To Raise Awareness of Bees’ Needs

13 July 2018
Topic: Biodiversity
Type: News
  • Defra Biosecurity Minister, Lord Gardiner, launches Bees’ Needs Week by attending famous London shopping destination renamed ‘Carnabee Street’ for the week-long campaign
  • Bees’ Needs Week seeks to raise awareness of pollinators and their essential role within our environment
  • Schools to be awarded with Pollinator Champion Award at the launch of Bees’ Needs Week in the Hive on Carnaby Street – a pollinator discovery Zone

Bees’ Needs Week is back for the third year running and will take place from 9th to 15th July.

Lord Gardiner attended the launch of Bees’ Needs Week on Carnaby Street, which has been renamed ‘Carnabee Street’ to raise awareness of the campaign.

Defra has partnered with Carnaby London, the leading West End shopping and dining destination to kick off the week of bee and pollinator action from government, conservation groups, industry and retailers to raise awareness of the campaign and the ways people can help save the bees.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

‘’Bees and other pollinators are vital contributors to the beauty of our landscapes, our economy and our £100 billion food industry.

‘’It is inspiring to see such a wide range of organisations celebrating these essential creatures for this unique Bees’ Needs campaign - showing us that all of us can play a part and help pollinators to thrive.’’

Recent actions Government has taken to protect bees include:

  • The Government is developing a Nature Recovery Network in England to provide 500,000 hectares of additional wildlife habitat, more effectively linking existing protected sites and landscapes, thereby improving access to habitat for pollinating insects;
  • In November 2017, the Environment Secretary announced that the Government supported further restrictions on the use of three neonicotinoids due to their harmful effects on bees and other pollinators, and the UK voted in favour of the EU  Commission’s proposal in April 2018;
  • Since 2015, nearly half (47%) of new Countryside Stewardship agreements included the Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package. The package ensures that a minimum of 3% of the farm is converted to habitat for farm wildlife including pollinators;
  • Defra has funded new research by the University of Exeter which has found a way to track the invasive Asian hornet back to the nest. The hornets prey on honeybees so tracking the predator back to the nest will enable inspectors to take swift action and destroy them;
  • Defra has provided a home for the rare Black Bee to the hives on the roof of the department’s London building. This particular species was on the verge of extinction a few years ago. 

Two schools, St Albans School in Hampshire and Trythall in Cornwall, will receive the Pollinator Champion Award from Lord Gardiner, which recognises their invaluable work in helping pollinators thrive.

Defra Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, Lord Gardiner, said:

It is my pleasure to award the Pollinator Champion Award to St Albans Primary School in Havant and the Trythall Community Primary School from Penzance. I would like to thank these young people and their teachers for their exceptional work in helping to protect these vital pollinators and their dedication in raising awareness of bees’ needs.

Bees’ Needs Week is about celebrating the fact that everyone can get involved by growing more flowers, leaving patches of garden to grow wild, cutting grass less, not disturbing insect nests, and thinking carefully about using pesticides.’’

The campaign also celebrates the efforts of a wide-range of organisations that will be present in The Hive – a discovery centre dedicated to pollinators on Carnaby Street, London:

  • The Royal Horticultural Society are handing out pollinator-friendly seed: Blooms for Bees;
  • The London Honey Company are offering free honey tasting;
  • Reading University are showcasing their leading research and a Bumblearium has been installed offering people a window into the secret lives of bees;
  • Last year’s Pollinator Champion, Rebecca Twigg, will be in the Hive with her fascinating augmented reality bee trail;
  • Wildflower Turf - the company behind creating the idyllic countryside landscape for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics - have stepped in to decorate the Hive and showcase some of the most beneficial native wildflower habitats for pollinators.

Simon Quayle, Director, Shaftesbury, said:

Shaftesbury is delighted to support the launch of Bees’ Needs Week, on our very own ‘Carnabee’ Street, which is also being backed by many of our occupants in the area. There has been an alarming decline in the pollinators across the UK, which play a vital role and are the unsung heroes in our ecosystem.

’We can all play our part in helping to boost the population, even in urban environments. If you take a closer look around our areas of London’s West End you can see we’ve introduced pockets of pollinator friendly plants wherever possible. With hanging baskets and window boxes, green walls and roofs, and even the introduction of rooftop beehives adorning parts of the area, it offers a much-needed oasis for our pollinating friends.

A swarm of activity is taking place in the world-famous shopping destination to raise awareness of Bees’ Needs including:

  • Carnaby Street has been renamed ‘Carnabee Street’ and the iconic arch has undergone a bee-themed makeover;
  • A pop-up ‘Hive’ will open at 3 Carnaby Street which will host educational and fun games, installations and talks in partnership with Defra alongside charities, universities, businesses and landowners;
  • Visitors to Carnaby will be able to follow an art trail around the area’s 14 streets, with illustrated bees by London based artist Lizzie King on the windows of participating shops and restaurants;
  • Shops and restaurants located in the world-famous shopping destination have created bespoke bee themed products, menus, cocktails and offers to raise awareness of the Bees’ Needs campaign.


Notes to editors

Hi-res images and interviews available on request, please contact:

Sadie Lister at Defra


Tel: 020 8565 4748

Katie Champain at Sister London for more information on Carnaby


Tel: 020 7287 9601

Jade Neal / Ollie Hoare at MHP for more information on Shaftesbury


Tel: 0203 128 8100


About Bees’ Needs Week

Bees’ Needs Week is part of the 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 1,500 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. Visit:

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 worth about £1/3 trillion 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 status 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 our £100bn food industry, which is at the heart of our economy.

For more information on Bees’ Needs Week, events, and how you can get involved, visit

Follow #BeesNeeds on twitter to find out more about the campaign and tweet your pollinator questions to charities, businesses and bee experts.


Pollinators in numbers

  • 1500 species of insects pollinate plants in the UK, including bumblebees, honeybees, solitary bees, hoverflies, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies and moths.
  • 26 species of bumblebee, 260 species of solitary bee, 1 honeybee species and hundreds of types of hoverflies, butterflies and moths live in the UK.
  • Globally, nearly 90% of wild flowering plant species depend, at least in part, on the transfer of pollen by animals.
  • More than three quarters of the leading types of global food crops rely to some extent on animal pollination for yield and/or quality.
  • Pollinator-dependent crops contribute to 35% of global crop production volume
  • £400m - £700m is the estimated value of insect pollination to crops due to increases in yield and quality of seeds and fruit.
  • The number of beekeepers registered on BeeBase, the voluntary registration system, has increased from 16,000 in 2010 to over 38,000 in 2017
  • 6.5kg of ‘Whitehall Honey’ produced by the first yield from Defra’s beehives in 2015.
  • 5 simple actions the UK public can take to protect our vital pollinators: grow more flowers, shrubs and trees; leave patches of land to grow wild; cut grass less often; don't disturb insect nests and hibernation spots; and think carefully about using pesticides.

About Carnaby

Carnaby is in the heart of London’s West End, where over 100 retail brands of quality and distinction and over 60 independent restaurants, cafés and bars can be found across 14 streets, including the world famous Carnaby Street. Carnaby is a unique and iconic experiential shopping, dining and leisure destination. | @CarnabyLondon

Across the 14 streets of Carnaby, owned by Shaftesbury, there are over 700 window boxes, green walls and roofs, hanging baskets. There are also two bee hives located on the roof tops to encourage pollinators to the area all year round.

During Bees’ Needs week, visitors are encouraged to seek out Carnaby’s best buzzing buys for summer, including Swatch’s MAX L’ABEILLE bumblebee inspired watch, Superga’s bee illustrated trainers, Joy Everley Fine Jewellers delicate silver and vermail bee collection and Havaianas’ black and yellow flip flops. Foodies, head to Carnaby’s Kingly Court to enjoy a honey infused cocktail and dessert at Le Bab, honeycomb doughnuts at Bread Ahead and ‘Honey 75’ cocktail at Whyte & Brown.


About Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury owns an exceptional real estate portfolio extending to 14.9 acres in the heart of London's West End - a highly popular, sought-after and prosperous location. Shaftesbury focuses on retail, restaurants and leisure in the liveliest parts of the West End. The portfolio comprises 587 shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs, extending to 1.1 million sq. ft., 452,000 sq. ft. of offices and 578 apartments. Its proven long-term management strategy is to create and foster distinctive, lively and prosperous locations. Its holdings are mainly concentrated in Carnaby, Seven Dials and Chinatown but also include substantial ownership in East and West Covent Garden, Soho and Fitzrovia.