New bee safari event in Aberdeen set to create a buzz over insects

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Everyone is familiar with African safaris, but a new event promises to create a buzz.

A bee safari is due to take place next week and, unlike traditional safaris, it will be entirely dedicated to the honey-makers.

The fully-booked event, which has been organised by the Aberdeen City Council Countryside Ranger Service, will be run by countryside ranger Rob Rowe and Lina-Elvira Back from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

The event will see a group meet at St Fitticks Church in Torry and go on a walk around the East Tullos Burn wildlife area. It promises to help participants learn more about the world of bees, their role in pollination and how they live.

A spokesman for the Bee Conservation Trust said: “Bee safaris are a fun way to learn about the fascinating lives of bees, especially wild species like bumblebees and solitary bees which are most in need of our help.

“By encouraging people of all ages to take notice and appreciate the little insects that do so much for us, we hope to inspire them to help make a difference.”

He added making people aware of the issue was “vital”.

He said: “Raising awareness about the plight of bees is vital and the message is very simple- bees are incredibly important and they need our help. The great thing is we can all do something to help, whether that be growing bee-friendly flowers to help feed bees, becoming involved with identifying and monitoring bees, raising awareness or fundraising to help with the work of organisations like the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.”

Two species of bumblebee have become extinct since the start of the 20th Century – Cullem’s bumblebee, last recorded in 1941, and the Short-haired bumblebee, last recorded in 1988 – which has sparked a campaign to save the insects.

Through the pollination of commercial crops such as tomatoes, peas, apples and strawberries, the insects help contribute more than £400 million per year to the UK economy. Without bees, the high costs of pollinating these plants by other means could significantly increase the cost of fruit and vegetables in supermarkets.

The safari will take on Tuesday from noon until 2pm.