Brigit Strawbridge Howard: As busy as a bee, whilst remaining humble as a bumble

Nov 5 2021

David heads to Dorset to talk with award-nominated writer, "amateur naturalist" and bee-advocate, Brigit Strawbridge Howard.

David Oakes

David Oakes


Brigit Strawbridge Howard


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About this episode:

Whether you know her from her Wainwright Prize nominated “Dancing with Bees”, from her time on the BBC’s “It’s Not Easy Being Green”, or from her intoxicating twitter-feed, there’s no denying that Brigit Strawbridge Howard is charming, endlessly-inquisitive and has truly let nature into her very soul. But it has not always been that way. Here – in an incredibly personal interview – Brigit explains how Nature didn’t feature in her early childhood whatsoever – only eventually making itself known to her as a “refuge from bullying”. Today, she is now part of a growing groundswell for environmental change and possesses a desire to place greater pressure upon policy makers – to make them see that the future is far more than just the coming weekend. But, there’s perhaps no denying, that Brigit’s true passion revolves around Bees! Here she will explain how Bumble Bees use the sonic resonance of their buzz to pollinate tomatoes, how Honey Bees use wild yeast to make fermented bee bread, how Bees are basically just “Vegetarian Wasps”, and how it was Bees that brought love into her life.

David's thoughts:

How can you not adore someone who’s favourite invertebrate is a bee that makes its home in a vacated snail shell?!

Following a year of lockdown, I think both Brigit and I appreciated the chance to talk quietly for an hour, uninterupted, with a like-minded nature lover and a cup of herbal tea. Brigit’s passion is catching, and present throughout this interview – utterly open and candid. This pure quality can be found sewn into her wonderful writing and vapourised should you be lucky enough to hear her speak. Informed, yet accessible; exactly what our world needs if it is to get everyone onboard with saving it.

As a sometimes-actor/amateur-environmentalist, talking to an ex-TV personality/amateur-naturalist, I was particularly keen to hear how Brigit has found being “formally unqualified” and yet maintaining a distinct voice in the battle for our wild spaces. For we need our experts, and we should not get in their way. But, it pleased me to hear that she wears her mantle alongside a gargantuam amount of research, that she listens and that she is never afraid to publically apologise when wrong. I cannot help but feel that everyone – should they find themselves in a position of power, or indeed aspire to obtain such a standing – should bear these three qualities with a similar duty of care.



Brigit Strawbridge Howard:
Twitter –
“Dancing with Bees” –
Bumblebee Conservation Trust –
John Walters (Twitter) –


Usbourne’s “Trees to Spot” –
Stephen Falk’s “Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland” –


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