London’s annual pollinator count: tracking Bees, Butterflies, and Moths

London's annual pollinator count tracking Bees, Butterflies, and Moths
credit: bbc

London (Parliament News) – Londoners are urged to participate in a city-wide pollinator count to assess bee, butterfly, and moth populations. Honeybees dominate, raising concerns over biodiversity and sustainable urban ecosystems.

Who is leading the annual pollinator count in London?

Londoners are being requested to count all the bees, butterflies and moths they notice as part of an annual city-wide pollinator count. The calculation, by Pollinating London Together (PLT), is thought to be foremost for the capital and has enticed help from naturalists, city workers and schoolchildren in an endeavour to better understand the health of pollinators and to receive an accurate sense of the diversity of bee species.

Lord Mayor, the Rt Hon. Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli undertook the survey at Cannon Street roof garden, one of the several places where individuals have been logging counts of the visiting pollinators. However, it is possible people may be staining honeybees more than any other pollinating insects.

A 2023 report discovered that honeybees account for a staggering 57 per cent of all pollinating insects in the City of London, despite being only one of 270 bee species in the UK – though the circumstances now appear “unsustainable”, with increasing concern over insufficient food sources keeping beehives.

What is the significance of honeybees in urban environments?

The growing number of honeybees in urban regions is thought to be partly due to gardeners and companies assuming they can support bees by submitting a beehive to their garden or rooftop, leading to enormous honeybee colonies.

Dr Konstantinos Tsiolis, Pollinator Ecologist at PLT stated: “Honeybees are not in decline anywhere in the world – neither globally nor in the UK. But our wild bees are – due to habitat failure, climate change, the use of pesticides and the failure of flower meadows. “We need a diversity of bee species and other pollinators such as butterflies, beetles, and wasps, to be truly sustainable, so the more people who join the pollinator count, the more accurate the picture we’ll have of what’s happening.”

Mr Tsiolis has urged the new Government to commit to saving the natural environment and to make improving biodiversity a key political priority. Anyone in London can experience by using the FIT Count app.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.