It is no secret that the pandemic has caused attendance to most types of events to drop, but an analysis of events on our platform suggests that events about bees are a notable exception – at least in the UK. While globally, year over year attendance to bee events was down as expected, attendees swarmed to UK events like bees to honey, growing their attendance in 2020 by 50% compared to 2019.
This was partly driven by the ongoing boom in online events. For bee related virtual events, we found that attendance grew tenfold in just ten months, from April 2020 to February 2021. Overall attendance to bee events peaked in July 2020 when some of the restrictions were lifted and, in addition to a wide variety of online events, in-person bee events returned temporarily. That month, Eventbrite issued more than four times as many people a ticket to a bee event than in July 2019, highlighting the growing public interest in bees.
Nearly 20,000 beginners and professional beekeepers enjoyed Q&As, webinars and lectures from top bee ecologists and scientists in the UK in 2020, on topics such as the crisis of decline, as well as talks by gardeners on how we can attract bees into the garden and from charities on how to make money with beeswax.
Events for Busy Bees
There are plenty of events to choose from this year, too; in February alone Eventbrite is hosting well over a thousand virtual bee and beekeeping events in the UK, and nearly 2000 more from all over the world.
Those interested in the subject might want to check out an Introduction to Basic Beekeeping by the Friends of the Bee Society, to learn about bee and beekeeping, on Wednesday 17 February with one class costing just £2.00 and a full day course for £14.00.
“This increase in attendance to bee and beekeeping events during the pandemic can be seen as a clear expression of the UK’s enduring passion for bees”, said our UK Marketing Manager Sabeha Mohamed, “And it’s likely connected with a surge in eco-consciousness as we reassess our priorities during lockdown. Online events are, of course, also much easier to attend making them more accessible to more people. We’re really proud of the fact that the platform has become a hive of activity for bee lovers from the UK and around the world.”
Shivani Rinck, President of The Friends of the Bee Society, added: “It’s fantastic to see that thousands of people have been interested in finding out more about this now endangered species during lockdown. We’ve seen a huge increase in interest in our bee and beekeeping events since they went online; bees have been declared the most important living beings on this planet and it’s essential that we take great care of this species.”
The Friends of the Bee Society was launched to raise awareness and interest in bees among the younger generation at the University of the West of Scotland.