It’s no secret that we love our bees here in Manchester.

Yet, as the city expands, many flowers are being lost from the landscape – leaving our bees scrambling to find enough food to survive.

With two bumblebee species now extinct and many more under threat, it’s more important than ever that we do everything we can to make our city as bee-friendly as possible.

Which is why Manchester Arndale is planning to transform a local community space into a bee-friendly floral haven as they launch the Big Bee Project.

The project hopes to inspire us to turn our gardens, streets and communities into havens for our stripy friends; and to kick things off the centre is calling on local charities and community spaces with public outdoor areas to put themselves forward for a bee-friendly garden makeover.

Applications can be submitted online up until the 17th March – and following a process of judging and shortlisting process, it will then be up to us to vote for the most worthy cause.

During the Easter half term, the centre will install a giant honeypot for this purpose – and they’ll also be giving out packets of seeds to shoppers to plant at home.

Lisa Hawkins, Head of Marketing at Manchester Arndale, said: “It’s fantastic to see that Manchester is booming and is becoming increasingly desirable as a place to live, but as our city grows we can still ensure there are pockets of wild spaces where bees can find flowers and food. We can all do our bit at home to create a welcoming environment for Manchester’s much-loved creature.

“As well as offering packets of seeds for our shoppers to take home this spring, The Big Bee Project will reward one of Manchester’s community projects or charities with a special garden makeover for local people and the bees to enjoy for years to come!”

Last summer, in a bid to help sustain struggling and tired bees, many Mancunians put out dishes of water and sugar on the advice of a now-debunked Facebook post that claimed to be from Sir David Attenborough.

The post was quickly outed as a fake, and the advice thoroughly discredited – with nature lovers being warned that the quick fix could not only be detrimental to bees but also could result in thousands of bees descending on their property.

But the response to it showed that many people care about sustaining the bee population.

With one-third of the UK’s bee population disappearing in the past decade, now is the time for us to act to create a sustainable environment going forward.

Is there a local community garden in your area you’d like to see transformed into a floral wonderland? Now is your chance to make it happen.

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