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


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:


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.


Update on the Government’s decision to allow the use of banned neonicotinoid seed treatments

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is disappointed to learn that the Government has agreed to allow farmers to plant oilseed rape seeds treated with the currently banned neonicotinoid pesticides this autumn, albeit on only 5% of the total OSR area.

To read our current policy position on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides click here.


Innovation Park Provides Perfect New Habitat for Eco Charities

Two fast growing environmental charities have selected Stirling University Innovation Park as their new home. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Grounds for Learning have snapped up sought after business space on the scenic campus.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, which will soon celebrate its ten year anniversary, is the UK’s leading charity devoted to reversing bumblebee decline; while Grounds for Learning, the Scottish arm of UK Charity Learning through Landscapes, has successfully transformed outdoor play and learning for thousands of Scottish school children over the past fifteen years.


‘Thurso – Gateway to the Great Yellow’ wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

We are delighted to announce that Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) has received £116,880 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, ‘Thurso – Gateway to the Great Yellow’ in Caithness. Working with communities in Caithness, this project will establish Thurso as the UK’s first Great yellow bumblebee town. The project is match-funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, the Postcode Community Trust and the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund.

Great yellow bumblebee, Bombus distinguendusGreat yellow bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus) on clover.
Photo credit: Gordon Mackie

The project will create a strong sense of community ownership of this enigmatic rare bee and encourage grassroots support for bumblebee conservation. Through education, outreach, interpretation and wide-ranging practical measures, BBCT will engage local communities right across Caithness to raise awareness of the unique natural heritage of Caithness, create and manage habitats for the Great yellow bumblebee and other pollinators, and carry out vital survey work to inform our understanding of the current population status of bumblebees in Caithness.