Butterflies and mini-beasts: Metro Mayor enjoys Blaise Museum buzzy bee fun

Metro Mayor Dan Norris got ‘buzzy’ as joined Blaise Museum for a day of fun, bee-themed activities.

With summer flowers now in full bloom, the Blaise estate became a hive of activity, with the Metro Mayor joining Head of Collections and Archives Ray Barnett and Bristol families for a fun day out to teach locals about the “power of bees, mini-beasts and butterflies” as well as other pollinator heroes.

The pollinator-pal Mayor took a peek into the secret life of bees as he visited the Blaise community garden chock-a-block with wildlife-friendly flowers, ponds and even a unique bee sanctuary, and home to pollinator superstars including honey and solitary bees, the marmalade hoverfly and the Batman hoverfly!

Mr Norris found out how to record wildlife and hunt for pollinating ‘mini-beasts’ himself with the Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre team before helping the museum take part in the 2022 Big Butterfly Count, the world’s biggest survey of butterflies. Blaise Museum were blessed with a bounty of sightings on the day, recording species including the Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral and Gatekeeper. This data will help with efforts to protect these beautiful creatures from extinction.

The Mayor even took the opportunity to enjoy craft and plant workshops and buzzing-bee stories with Michael Loader, the museum’s resident storyteller, designed to help Bristol’s next generation discover more about the important role pollinators play, including their special waggle dance.

The visit by the bee-bestie Mayor was to promote the West of England “Bee Bold awards”. The awards showcase the very best pollinator friendly local organisations, like Blaise Museum, in the West of England. Applications are open until 9 September. Mayor Norris, who has pledged to make the West of England the bee and pollinator capital of the UK, said: “Pollinators are precious. But so many are feeling the sting of habitat loss, pesticide use and the climate crisis. Support for our region’s hardest workers, who pollinate a third of the food we eat, is a real priority for the West of England Combined Authority I lead. This was a great day of fun, pollinator-themed activities. Blaise Museum really is a buzzing place and great example of a local group taking action to ensure our powerful little pollinators not only survive but thrive. I encourage all those ‘bee buddies’ that have not already done so to tell local people what they are doing to help pollinators by entering the West of England Bee Bold Awards today”.

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