The Bumblebee Conservation Trust was established because of serious concerns about the 'plight of the bumblebee'. In the last 80 years our bumblebee populations have crashed. Two species have become nationally extinct and several others have declined dramatically.
Bumblebees are familiar and much-loved insects that pollinate our crops and wildflowers, so people are rightly worried. We have a vision for a different future in which our communities and countryside are rich in bumblebees and colourful flowers, supporting a diversity of wildlife and habitats for everyone to enjoy. A growing number of committed supporters are helping our small team of staff make a big difference. We have over 7,000 members and are growing fast.
We are working toward four main aims:
The prevention of the extinction of any of the UK’s bumblebees
Bumblebees are an important and cherished component of our biodiversity. Several species are threatened with national extinction. We aim to ensure that populations of these species have a long-term future in the UK.
A long-term future for all our bumblebees and other pollinators which support the ecosystem service of pollination
Our commoner bumblebee species contribute significantly to our economy through the ecosystem service that their pollination of crops provides. Pollination is vital for many of the nation’s wild plants and it helps to maintain affordable five-a-day fruit and vegetables. Bumblebees also support the wider ecosystem through pollinating a diversity of wild plant species. We aim to halt and reverse declines in the UK’s bumblebees.
The protection, creation and restoration of flower-rich habitats
Vast areas of meadow habitats have been lost from the UK (97%, or over three million hectares) since the 1930’s. Meadow habitats are important for the maintenance of biodiversity but also benefit the wellbeing of the people who see them or spend time in them. Likewise, suitably managed gardens and other amenity areas are valuable both to wildlife and the people that visit them. We aim to increase the extent of these flower-rich habitats nationally, for the benefit of both people and wildlife.
An increase in the understanding and appreciation of bumblebees
Much enjoyment can be gained from an appreciation of bumblebees. Their pollination service is also a clear and compelling example of the link between biodiversity and human health and welfare. We aim to increase the knowledge of the general public and policy makers such that they appreciate and value bumblebees and biodiversity more generally.
"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