Professional Pest Controller issue 93

06 December 2018

Mr Bumble and his ‘Pollination for the Nation’ road trip

Events | PPC93 December 2018

Jim is taking time out from pest management to travel the length of the UK to build awareness of the vital role pollinators play in everyone’s lives - particularly the humble bumblebee. He’ll be doing it all in his tiny Bumble-mobile.

Mr Bumble and his team will leave for Land’s End on 13 April 2019 to begin a countrywide tour. They’ll be stopping off at a selection of garden centres, schools, education centres, town halls, parks, youth clubs and care homes to educate the general public about pollinators. He’ll be distributing information cards and talking to children about how important it is to look after bumblebees.

He’s inviting all bee-friendly pest controllers to join him on his mission to educate the nation.

Jim is a part of Beewise, the BPCA’s special interest group on bees. The campaign will be supported by BPCA, Beewise and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. He’s also asked local beekeepers, vegetable producers, and other interested parties to help him on his journey.

Meet the member Mr Bumble in his Bumble mobile

PPC caught up with Jim for a quick interview to see how his plans were coming along.

What is ‘Pollination for the Nation’?

It’s a programme we devised to increase awareness of the importance of pollinating insects. The goal is to educate and inform. I do this in the guise of ‘Mr Bumble’ – a fun and friendly character, designed to engage with children. I have a knack for being able to communicate with children on their level, and liked the thought of visiting schools and groups educating the kids and hopefully spreading the BeesKnees ethics, I devised the ‘Pollination for the Nation’ talk and Mr Bumble pseudonym.

What are you raising awareness of?

The key theme is that we need pollinators more than they need us. We’re encouraging people to turn areas into pollination-friendly land.

We’ll also be talking about the different types of bumblebee within the UK, the lifecycle of the bumblebee, and most importantly, how to look after and live with bumblebees!

What’s your road trip plan?

Initially, I’ll be leaving Buckinghamshire to arrive 14 April at Land’s End, stop over and depart Lands End 15 April. Depending on the support we receive from business and organisations, we’ll be stopping to deliver education as we go. We’ll stop at BPCA and BBCT headquarters, finishing up at John O’Groats.

We are anticipating 70-90 miles per day, leaving time for stop-offs. I think the trip will take two weeks.

The car will be driven by ‘Mr Bumble’, followed by his pollinating tribe or ‘Baby Bumbles’. We’re still actively looking for support teams through the route rather than one team following bottom to top. Buckinghamshire Freemasons are supporting, along with BBCT.

How can other people help?

We’re not looking for financial contributions, however, anyone that can help with accommodation, fuel by the tank, seeds/plants for donating to stop-off points or groups along the way. We need support teams to follow the car through the country swapping over at specific points.

Any contacts in local radio or TV that can help advertise the programme, local garden experts or celebrities who will support the initiative would also be appreciated!

Ideally, we would like national and independent pest management professionals to understand the ‘Pollination for the Nation’ initiative. Education does not mean losing a client - it means gaining a client who knows they can trust their provider.

We would love to be followed across the UK by bee-friendly pest service providers, from each area we cross through. PCOs can become more aware of the importance and benefits of our bee pollinators, sign up to the Beewise Code of Conduct, and display the ‘Pollination for the Nation’ logo.

Who are you hoping to speak to on the way?

Lots of children and anyone who would like to know more about pollinators. Mayors, councillors, head teachers, scouts, guides, cubs, beavers and youth groups. It’s our children who can turn this situation around.

Our job as pest service providers is to educate, inform and make aware - not just on pollinators, but in all pest management. Prevention is better than cure, otherwise, all our industry provides is the best way to kill something.

You’re obviously really passionate about this project. Why do you care so much about bees?

I remember sitting in a clients loft, next to a bumblebee nest. The light was on and the bumblebee flew straight over me into the nest, completely ignoring me. I watched them for what seemed like ages.

It did not seem right to destroy a creature that was so inoffensive, in that environment and, unbeknown to me at the time, so beneficial and important to our planet and its inhabitants.

I met a local person, Clive Hill, who knew a bit about honeybees and bumblebees. Clive and I met, I asked if it was really viable to re-home a bumblebee colony - especially from a loft or compost bin or tumble dryer hose or under a shed.

We had to learn when it is best to collect, the structure of the colony, how it works as a colony, the best way to re-home, the best type of box for re-homing, where to re-home and much more.

After a time, it was apparent that if we can educate the people where they are living we would not need to rehome them.

So, why bees? We all must surely have a passion for something. For some its football, golf, or cricket. Mine just happens to be bees (and fishing!)

About BeesKnees Pest Control

The company started life in 1989 as a lift car/door cleaning specialist. They diversified throughout the years to include, property services, health and safety survey assistance, motor/tank room cleaning, but only for lift and local authorities. They then added feral bird prevention, then finally rodent and insect services within the same customer base.

Fifteen years ago they started working with the general public and Jim says he’s found working and meeting people in their own environment very rewarding and loves meeting and greeting clients.

BeesKnees also carry out cleaning for special needs people - which Jim describes as a bit like ‘Grime Busters’. They do their best to actually meet the people and care about what they are going through. The company motto is to ‘make the uninhabitable into inhabitable’ but insists that sometimes it’s just listening. Jim said to us, “care, consideration and honesty are important, not just within a client’s abode. One of the most important lessons I’ve probably learned over the years is that I have no right to judge anyone. You never know what goes on or has gone on behind the eyes. People of all ages, fortunes or walks of life have been through scenarios I cannot comprehend”.

WANT TO SUPPORT ‘POLLINATION FOR THE NATION’?

Mr Bumble wants the support of anyone passionate about protecting British pollinators. If you’d like to get involved or learn more about the road trip, contact Jim today!
beesknees.pestcontrol@gmail.com

< Contents Next article >

Why we didnt treat your bees leaflet available now

Source: PPC93

Don't miss View all news

16 January 2019

Latest news

Significant developments from rodenticide stewardship in 2018

The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) UK has released it’s 2018 annual report into the state of the UK rodenticide stewardship regime. The UK rodenticide stewardship regi

Read more

16 January 2019

Latest news

Ficam® D successfully re-approved for future use… but with caveat

BPCA member company, Bayer has announced that Ficam® D has been reapproved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). However, the new label will no longer allow for the use of this pesticide outdo

Read more

15 January 2019

Latest news

BRC Global Standard for Food Safety updated guidance published

Issue 8 of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard for Food Safety is now out with an accompanying BPCA guidance document for members. SPEED READ: New issue 8 out now to view (free t

Read more

18 December 2018

Latest news

President foreword: Time to say goodbye

President foreword | PPC93 December 2018 Looking back at the first foreword I wrote, back in PPC88, I’m pleased to see that much of what we discussed then remains both relevant to BP

Read more

18 December 2018

Latest news

Advert: Harmonix

Advertisement | PPC93 December 2018 < Contents Next article >

Read more

18 December 2018

Latest news

Chief Exec viewpoint: Small pieces to make the big picture

Chief Exec viewpoint | PPC93 December 2018 In this Chief Exec viewpoint, I’d like to do some straight talking about BPCA Registered, CPD schemes, and the sticky issue of what &l

Read more