Early-emerging bumblebees have had a bumper year with warm dry weather between April and June helping to boost their populations.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) has recorded nearly double the number of Early bumblebees (Bombus pratorum) and Tree bumblebees (Bombus hypnorum) this year - compared to the same period in 2013 - through its national monitoring scheme BeeWalk.
Both species were abundant in the spring months, bouncing back impressively from the cold, wet springs of 2012 and 2013.
It was a particularly good year for the Tree bumblebee, which came to the UK from mainland Europe in 2001. Since the first recorded sighting in the New Forest in Hampshire, the species has spread to most of England and Wales and has continued to move north into Scotland with new sightings in East Lothian and Stirlingshire this year. In total it has been seen more than 1,100 times this year on BeeWalk surveys, compared to 700 times in 2013, and has also been found in huge numbers in gardens.
The Early bumblebee has increased from 1000 individuals last year to 1900 this year.more...