Count your bees
Gardeners and school children are being invited to run the very first ‘‘citizen science’’ survey of bee numbers in New Zealand.
Scientists from Plant & Food Research, NZ Gardener magazine and Stuff.co.nz have teamed up to run The Great Kiwi Bee Count.
The survey of bee numbers is intended to provide a baseline for generations of research into the bees.
NZ Gardener editor Jo McCarroll said bees should not be taken for granted.
‘‘We do need a baseline so we can see how our bees are doing.’’
Throughout September, Kiwis young and old are encouraged to get into their gardens, parks or neighbourhood – preferably on a sunny day – then choose a flowering plant and count how many bees they see in two minutes.
It’s the perfect excuse to get the kids outdoors. Bee counters are encouraged to note down the type of flowering plant and pay attention to the type of bee they spot.
They can then record the results on stuff.co.nz/greatkiwibeecount.
The data gathered from across New Zealand over the month will help scientists work out the state of bee health and numbers in the country.
It will also provide a baseline figure for a future ‘‘bee census’’. So grab your smart phone, find a shrub, and bee useful.
Take part today.