Latest news

Stay up to date with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s latest news and happenings right here.

Share

Royal Mail Issues Special Stamps Illustrating The Beauty Of British Bees

Royal Mail today launched a set of 10 Special Stamps that celebrate the UK’s bee populations. The stamps feature illustrated images of various bee species from across the UK including two bumblebees – the Great yellow and Bilberry.

New research commissioned by Royal Mail finds that although people care about the nation’s bee population, there is very little knowledge about them in general. Over half of people questioned (53%) could not name any type of bee – despite nearly 87% saying they care about the bee population in the UK.

Findings also discovered that only 3% of people were aware there are around 250 species of bee living in the UK, with the majority (71%) believing there were fewer than 20. Nevertheless, over half (56%) said they did try to encourage bees into their garden by planting bee-friendly plant varieties.

more...

Share

Florally transmitted diseases (FTDs): a newly discovered threat to bee communities.

New research led by award winning scientist Dr Peter Graystock at the University of Leeds, in collaboration with Professor William Hughes and Professor Dave Goulson of the University of Sussex, shows that diseased bees deposit parasites on to the flowers they visit. These parasites can then infect healthy bees visiting the same flowers, or be transported by an unsusceptible bee species to other flowers to reach their host species.

In a neatly designed experiment, the researchers allowed bumblebees from hives infected with three different bumblebee diseases to forage on a patch of flowers in a flight cage for a period of 3 hours before removing them from the cage. They then released disease-free honey bees into the cage and allowed them to forage for a further 3 hours on the same flowers, as well as a patch of uncontaminated flowers which were brought in at the same time. Immediately afterwards, the shared flower patch, the honeybee only flower patch and the honey bees were all screened for the bumblebee parasites with alarming results. All three of the parasites were detected on the shared flowers, while two out of three were detected on the flowers which only the honeybees had access to, as well as inside the honeybee colonies.

more...
Share

Notice of Update to Bumblebee Conservation Trust Privacy Policy

Please note that our Privacy Policy has been updated to include our new Head Office address details.

Click here to view the policy in full

Share

Statement on the Government’s decision to allow the emergency use of neonicotinoids on Oil Seed Rape

The recent announcement that the government has granted use of neonicotinoid pesticides on 5% of oil seed rape crops this autumn was one of immense disappointment for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. We believe that this has now set a precedent for further emergency applications and that the UK Government has in effect lifted the EU temporary ban on the use of neonicotinoids.

We have written to the Secretary of State for the Environment, the Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Truss asking to see the data and case studies used to persuade to Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) to grant this derogation. In particular we have asked the government to justify this decision in light of:

1) Its investment in the development and implementation of a National Pollinator Strategy for England (of which we are both a signatory and member of the Pollinator Advisory Steering Group)

2) Defra’s ‘call to action’ to encourage the general public and industry to do more for pollinators

3) The considerable body of evidence demonstrating significant lethal and sublethal effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on important wild pollinators such as bumblebees and solitary bees.

If you would like to read the letter in full please follow this link.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is appealing to its members and the general public to help support the cost of this work. If you would like to make a donation to this important area of our work, please go to: http://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/bumblebeect/policy

Share

Don’t undermine the laws that protect nature, say nearly half a million European citizens.

BBCT are members of the Wildlife and Countryside Link, Scottish Environment Link and Wales Environment Link. This press release was issued by the RSPB on behalf of Link member organisations. 

Calls to defend nature beat the record for responses to European public consultations.

Don’t undermine or wreck the laws protecting nature. That’s the clear and powerful message to the President of the European Commission and his Commissioners from the majority of nearly half a million people [note 6] across Europe (with around one in five of those coming from the UK) who have so far responded to the consultation on the future of two of Europe’s nature laws: the Birds and Habitats Directives.

As the three-month consultation draws to a close at midnight tonight [Friday 24 July, 2015], conservation and wildlife groups across Europe are delighted with the level of public support which has exceeded all previous consultations on any other European law. In Europe, four environmental networks, comprising WWF Europe, BirdLife International, the European Environmental Bureau and Friends of the Earth Europe, came together in May launching the Nature Alert campaign [note 2] in response to the EU Commission’s suggestion to evaluate whether the existing EU nature laws should be changed.

more...