Londoners are being asked to count all pollinating insects in the city

Pollen might be a real pain for hayfever sufferers, but it also helps London to stay a green and luscious place. And that’s why a city-wide pollinator count is taking place for the first time ever, with Londoners being asked to count all the bees, moths and butterflies in the capital. 

Pollinating London Together (PLT) has enlisted the help of naturalists, city workers and schoolchildren in its first annual pollinator count, which aims observe the ‘vital’ insect populations that pollinate our plants and get a better understanding of the capital’s biodiversity. 

Supported by the Lord Mayor Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, the pollen count was launched at Cannon Street roof garden on July 1. The count also took place at Christchurch Greyfriars Church Garden, St Paul’s Festival Garden and Inner Temple Garden.

If you’re taking part in the count yourself, chances are you’re going to see more bees than anything else. A 2023 study found that honeybees make up 57 percent of all pollinating insects in the City of London, despite being only one of 270 bee species in the UK. But other types of bee are in danger. 

Dr Konstantinos Tsiolis, Pollinator Ecologist at PLT said: ‘Honeybees are not in decline anywhere in the world – neither globally nor in the UK. But our wild bees are – due to habitat loss, climate change, the use of pesticides and loss 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.’

You can find all the information about taking part in the pollinator count online here

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