About Me And My Website


Hello. I'm Amanda, bee conservationist and enthusiast. Here are just a few lines about me and my website.

I have been studying bees since 2008, an interest fostered informally in childhood.  I began building this site in August 2010. I decided to create it, because I was very concerned about bees, and because I believe that people can make a difference and help reverse threats and declines by planting lots of flowers in their gardens.  I also love sharing my enthusiasm for bees, and want to inspire others!

 

Campaigner and conservationist

white tailed bumble bee foraging on spikey, jewel blue sea holly flower head

I began raising awareness of the plight of bees in 2008, and was extremely active on Twitter from 2009, sharing links to information and organising letter writing campaigns. Back then, there was little awareness of the problems facing bees, and about issues such as habitat loss and the impact of insecticides. 

There was also very little information available on-line (unlike today!).  I was one of a very small group of trail-blazing independent campaigners*. 

It was a risk!  The group included a few beekeepers across the world (Phil Chandler, Tom Theobald, Graham White), a retired Consultant Anaesthetist and a Dutch toxicologist.  A number of supporters assisted in helping to build momentum, and almost all of them were beekeepers.  It is hard to imagine now, but a number of us had to withstand significant online abuse, and a general disregard from decision makers.  It took time to generate the momentum behind the campaign.

None of us had any insurances, formal organisational back-up, nor finances for legal resources.

Thankfully at last, major charities came on board from 2012 onwards after the EFSA inquiry into the regulatory position and evidence around threat of neonicotinoid insecticides to bees, and they have since helped to spread the message.  


honey bee foraging on a vibrant orange sneeze weed flower


Nowadays, there is a huge amount of interest in bees and awareness of the need to help them, which is wonderful. 

As previously stated, I started my website in 2010 (after an initial false start with a blog) as a means to provide more information.  I write a lot about tips to help bees, gardening for bees, and enjoy raising awareness of some of the less well-known solitary species.  I'm also using my website to help change the perception of insects such as wasps, which are mostly very valuable helpers in the garden.  I get asked lots of questions, particularly with regard to advice concerning nests, and other general queries about how we can help pollinators.

(*My twitter account even featured in the Guardian Eco Top 50 Wildlife & Conservation Accounts in 2010 - much to my surprise (@helpthebees).  I eventually gave up Twitter for a variety of reasons, including personal commitments). 


Making a difference

Aside from doing what I could by including flowers for bees in my garden, I found that one of the most effective ways in which a difference has been created is via written letters (usually to politicians) - I initiated many of these from my website using social media.  I also wrote short, informal features for local magazines, and along with some of my independent campaigning colleagues, fed a number of important stories and items of research with the mainstream newspapers.   Some of this was the result of time consuming, background investigation work.


I began working with children too, every once in a while, planting pots of wildflowers and making simple bee houses, and giving talks locally about bees.  

BuzzAboutBees.net today

There are many resources on this site about gardening for bees, with lists of shrubs, wildflowers, herbs, ideas for lawns etc. I try to create something that is simple and easy to read for children.  There are many free resources such as puzzles.

On the other hand, there are times when I am trying to communicate scientific studies, such as Do bees sleep?

wool carder bee male on lamb's ear - rear view


Add in the fact that I am often a little rushed, so please forgive  typos, or any parts which are not very well written - I am aware there are a few of those, and I am slowly working my way through them!   


Advertising

I allow advertising on my site to pay toward the cost of my website package, and to support me in my awareness campaigning.  For several years, campaigning for bees has been a full time task, and like anyone else, I have to support myself. 

Sometimes, ads appear which I do not like. I have successfully blocked some of them, but have found it impossible to block all of them, especially since I have no visibility of the ads shown in different countries all over the world - sometimes in foreign languages.  I do not have the time to monitor every single one.  


To be clear: I support organic, wildlife friendly gardening and farming, and promote these within my website. 

I do not willingly support or endorse pesticides companies, and encourage people to leave bees alone, as well as provide information about how to move bees humanely if necessary.

honey bee on purple loosestrife

I do not receive commissions on sales, other than items sold via Amazon. This is a very small percentage made from affiliate sales.

In other words, if you like my website and buy through my affiliate links into Amazon, I will receive a very small commission. Otherwise, you can go to them directly.

If you want to help me to continue in my work, and are a customer of Amazon, you can do so by clicking first on one of these links:

Amazon US or 


Amazon UK


Before making a purchase.  You will be directed to an Amazon page, probably featuring a 'bee house' - simply ignore the bee house if that is not what you want, and proceed with your shopping as normal.

I have also recently created a shop - again, I receive a small commission for sales generated. 

All the best, and thank you for visiting my website, and I hope you'll come back!


Amanda.










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