As well as honeybees, Hackney is home to a number of species of solitary bees and bumblebees, some of which are nationally rare. The brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority species and has been recorded in Hackney. The hairy-footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes) is a priority species in the Hackney BAP.
How to help bees
The best way to help bees is to make sure there are places for them to feed and shelter. Gardens and parks in urban areas can provide good sources of nectar and pollen. You can find out more about how to help bees in the British Beekeepers Association's list of pollen and nectar-rich plants.
We created a number of new urban meadows in 2012 and 2013 with the help of park user groups and school children and will create more in 2014. We're using a mix of annual and perennial species so that we get a great splash of colour this year and more plants to keep coming up in following years to provide a continuing source of food for insects such as bees.
We have recently hosted a series of free biodiversity talks with a variety of engaging local speakers covering topics such as bees, flora, local estates and dragonflies. If you missed the last talk on Hackney's bees, you can now see the slides here.
If you'd like to find out more about bees and beekeeping, contact the following organisations: