The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is a UK-based, national charity. They were established in 2006 in response to the increasing concern surrounding the decline of the bumblebee population. A key issue is habitat loss, through agricultural intensification. The bee decline has worsened over the past decade, with the endangered species list growing dramatically.
In the last 70 years, two species have become nationally extinct, whilst populations of several others have noticeably decreased. Bumblebees are ‘keystone’ pollinators, integral to our natural environment through their pollination of crops. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust want to help bumblebees and the habitats which they depend on, through conservation and education.
The organisation aims to tackle the problem through their online platform. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust had a BeeKind website tool to encourage website visitors to have bee-accommodating gardens, featuring software that scores your garden's bee friendliness. The score is calculated through the types and quantity of plants in your garden. However, this was first developed in 2011/12 and was in need of an overhaul, which is where we came in.
What We Did
The original BeeKind tool suffered from limitations, which needed to be addressed in the new version. We designed the website to be user friendly, with clear navigation – you can now filter and select from an abundance of different flowers and plants that feature in your garden already, to accumulate a score. A full score breakdown is provided, including recommendations, to help and educate.
The advanced filters we implemented now make finding particular plants a quick, simple process. The webpages are full of information – when certain plants bloom, what is suited to your garden and information about the plants already in your garden, based on the information you provide. Plants can be added to a 'favourite list', which you can return to whenever you like.
The garden score is now easily shareable through all the main social networks – you can let your friends know how bee-friendly your garden is, which creates awareness and encourages others to get involved. You can even create scores for multiple gardens and switch between them, with unique plant selections and scores. With an automated system, the scores update in real-time - there's no need for the site to be repeatedly refreshed.
The seamless CMS (Content Management System) allows administration to easily utilise the filters available, to quickly find which plants they want to edit. The BeeKind tool also has a MailChimp newsletter integrated, to directly update followers. All content and imagery is now easy to update and add to, saving the charity valuable time when managing the tool.
The website has a clear, attractive layout that reflects the Bumblebee Conservation's branding. The site is easy to navigate with the handy search feature, alphabetical ordering and various filters – users should swiftly be able to find the flower they are looking for. If you can't find the flower you are searching for on the database, there is the option to inform The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, so they can add this to the system, as they see fit.
The updated BeeKind tool has proven popular – individuals are using it regularly, discovering how bee friendly their garden is and how their score can be improved upon. There are currently over 650 different flowers and plants on the site, with pictures and fact files to match. This list continues to be added to and updated.
Find out how bee friendly your garden is by trying the BeeKind tool here.