Butterflies started it

Posted 20 May 2021 by Walaa Idris

Today is World Bee Day. So I decided to celebrate by buying a jar of local honey and remind everybody of the importance of bees and pollinators.

For me, it all began about 7/8 years ago, on a beautiful sunny day. I was in the countryside, sitting outside surrounded by and soaking in England’s natural beauty. It was perfect, bar one thing. For almost an hour in the garden not one butterfly appeared. Even though I am not in the countryside a lot, I recalled a setting such as this will have a couple of them flying around. I spent the rest of my stay actively looking for them while outside and from inside, yet nothing. That got me thinking.

When I got home, I did a little research on why we’re not seeing butterflies like we used to? It turned out not only butterflies, but all of our pollinators are at risk and suffering from rapid decline. Because their natural habitats are being destroyed either for urbanisation or due to climate damage. These creatures mostly exist and fertilise by resting, eating and flying from flower to flower.

The loss of biodiversity was creating longer gaps between trips thus making pollinator journeys longer. Not all bugs were able to survive it. That’s when the idea of a Superhighway of connecting corridors to allow pollinators a continued and safe travel came to me.

So why Bee?

Because, in my opinion bees are the royalty of bugs and pollinators. Plus ‘The Bee Superhighway’ is catchy and has a nice ring to it.

Four years later I was elected Councillor for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. That’s when I thought now I can really do something about it. I had the platform, an audience and the resources. All I needed was the setting. Which came about the flowing year when I became Deputy Mayor in May 2019. I am very proud to say, with the backing of the then Mayor Cllr Will Pascal, I hosted an event that launched The Bee Superhighway putting it firmly on the borough’s map.

Yes, it was my idea, my vision and dream, but so many people are behind it’s success and existence. I, and the pollinators are very grateful for all of them. I am not going to mention names, because I will undoubtedly miss someone, but you all know who you are.

Today, on this World Bee Day, I and the Bees thank, appreciate and celebrate you all!

Happy World Bee Day!

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