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QMUL PhD student tells us why it’s important to save London’s bees

Friday 1 July 2016

On Wednesday 22 June, QMUL researchers released hundreds of bees with individual number plates from the rooftops of Queen Mary in an attempt to uncover the secret lives of London’s bees.

Biologists from our School of Biological and Chemical Sciences attached weather-resistant number tags on the backs of bees, and are now encouraging the public to identify them and take photos for a competition.

PhD student Marie Guiraud, who works on the project, says: “In addition to being these cute fleecy animals, bees are essential for our survival as they pollinate most of the flowering plants that produce the fruits and vegetables we eat. Our team, led by Professor Lars Chittka and Dr Clint Perry, is very committed to raising awareness of the ecological importance of bees and ensuring their preservation. Because one of the main threats for bees is habitat loss, we want to encourage people to help us save the bees by planting bee friendly flowers, such as lavender, clover, thyme, cow vetch. To better inform gardeners, we raised and tagged bees from several colonies and set up a competition where you can have fun getting to know the furry little insects wandering in your gardens and be in with a chance of winning some Amazon vouchers.”

Prizes of £100 Amazon gift vouchers will be awarded for the best photo of a QMUL-tagged bee on a flower, for the highest number of QMUL-tagged bees spotted and for the best photo of a London bee-friendly garden (as judged by the research team).
The London Pollinator Project aims to understand the bees’ preferred patches in London, in particular their favourite flowers, which reward them with nectar and pollen.

Check out www.savelondonbees.co.uk to find out more and submit photos for a chance to win!

Marie working with the bees before their release
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