The London Beekeepers' Association

We are grateful to Ashurst for sponsoring our forage-creation programmme.

Please contact us if you'd like to find out how you can support our education, training and forage-creation projects.


Helping bees

Bee numbers are declining worldwide. Reasons are not well-understood, but imported pests and diseases, pesticides and lack of suitable flowers are contributors. Bees are important pollinators and their decline will have negative effects on food production and the environment.

Bees in London are in pretty good shape because London's parks and gardens have long flowering seasons and because London has a lot of beekeepers. However, there is increasing concern that the high density of bees in London cannot be sustained by the flowering plants we provide and that bee-related diseases can spread more easily. This is why our relationship with Ashurst is so valuable. LBKA helps train beekeepers to keep their bees disease-free, campaigns for pollinator-friendly planting and gardening practices and offers advice. Joining LBKA - even if you do not keep bees - will help us spread the message and will put you in touch with London's beekeepers.

There are a few things that you can do to help bees.

Plant pollinator-friendly plants. See our guide on pollinator-friendly plants. RHS also have a list of pollinator-friendly plants and garden centres often label plants that are good for bees. In addition, tree blossom is an important source of pollen and nectar early in the season. Try and provide a long season from spring bulbs to late flowering ivy. In general, plants with large modern double or multi-petalled flowers that have been bred for their visual appearance are of little value to pollinating insects.

Set aside a "wild" area of your garden. Undisturbed corners of gardens can provide habitat for bumblebees (they often nest underground) and wild flowering plants.

Try to avoid using insecticides. Since bees are insects, insecticides are toxic to them. It is believed that in small quantities, they can interfere with the bee's means of navigation and they might not be able to find the hive.

The following list of pesticides (from by the Pesticide Action Network) contain neonicotinoids that are harmful to bees:

  • Westland Plant Rescue Bug Killer; active ingredient Thiamethoxam
  • Provado Vine Weevil Killer; active ingredient Thiacloprid
  • Bug Clear Ultra Vine Weevil Killer; active ingredient Acetamiprid
  • Bug Clear Gun!; active ingredient Acetamiprid
  • Provado Ultimate Bug Killer Spray; active ingredient Thiacloprid
  • Provado Ultimate Bug Killer Ready to Use; active ingredient Thiacloprid
  • Provado Ultimate Bug Killer Concentrate; active ingredient Thiacloprid

Of course, if you're interested in keeping bees yourself, we can help. We run a number of one- and two-day courses, mentoring and regular meetings.

©2018 London Beekeepers' Association
Registered Charity Number 1165736