Shooters can be a vital part of this plan, because much of the £250 million worth of habitat management carried out annually on shoots suits pollinators very well. Marc Bull, technical advisor for Kings Crops said; “Our ongoing work with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust at Loddington provides an excellent example of how carefully planned habitat creation and improvement can benefit pollinators too.” There is solid evidence that shoots are ideal habitats for pollinators and can be made even more beneficial with little extra work required.
In the UK, honeybee numbers have fallen by around 30 per cent in recent years, despite an increase in the number of beekeepers, and a similar worrying trend is seen worldwide. Although nobody can really explain this, most people suspect loss of suitable habitats, diseases and lack of food. In the UK alone, 97 per cent of wildflower meadows have been lost in the last 70 years. Jane Moseley, operations director for the British Beekeepers’ Association, said; “It is imperative that we plant with honeybees in mind; their lifecycle requires the earliest forage sources from January right through until October. In doing so, we will not only provide the 30kg of pollen and 120kg of nectar required for each colony to survive, we will also create a wide range of habitat which in turn will improve biodiversity and forage for other insects and mammals, providing good cover for game birds, and enabling all to thrive.”