Shrill carder bee
The Shrill carder bee, Bombus sylvarum, is probably the UK’s rarest species of bumblebee.
In the 1900s, the Shrill carder bee was seen throughout most of England and Wales. Since then, the populations have declined quickly, and nowadays we only have about 7 separate populations left. These remaining populations are mostly in South Wales and England, where it still thrives on meadows and flower-rich grassland. Having such isolated populations is not ideal because it can cause inbreeding amongst closely related bees, so we are working with landowners to try to create more habitat that will protect existing populations and link them up.
Click here to read a case study of some of the work we are doing to help the Shrill carder bee.
Maps showing the distribution of the Shrill carder bee (Maps courtesy of BWARS)
"We are facing a fundamental problem with the decline of bees and other pollinators. They have an absolutely crucial role in pollinating many of our important crops - without them we will face higher food costs and potential shortages."
Professor Douglas Kell
BBSRC Chief Executive