Anthony’s blog

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this blog are those of the author alone. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors or omissions.

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How do bumblebees hibernate?

Bumblebees are the sound of summer, and you won't find many flying in the winter months, except the occasional nest in the warmer parts of the country. But just where do they go?

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Convert your lawn into a meadow!

We have another guest blog this week, from Bumblebee Conservation Trust supporter Eric Homer. Read on to find out what he did and see his results...

My wife and I are keen on helping wildlife and enjoy encouraging wildlife into our garden. We get a lot of pleasure seeing the birds, bees, butterflies, frogs, newts and insects in the garden, so last year we decided that we’d like to make the garden more bee friendly by converting the back garden lawn into a wildflower meadow, hopefully attracting more wildlife into the garden and helping the bees and other species. Our suburban garden is not large and the lawn only covered a small area, approximately 20m2. We wondered if a small area like this would have any effect, but we were not disappointed.

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Making bumblebee nest spaces

Having bumblebees nesting in the garden is a great way to learn about them. If you have a nest, you may at first just see a single queen carrying food to the nest, which she stores for her future offspring. A few weeks later you should see the first worker bees who will be helping the nests get larger, and hopefully they’ll soon be followed by new queens or males, which should mate with males and queens from different nests before the new queens go into hibernation.

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Where have all the bees gone?

We’re familiar now with the story that bumblebees and other bees have declined over the last few decades. But over recent weeks we’ve had a large number of calls and emails about a distinct lack of bees in places where they’re normally abundant; in many gardens and parks, the bees just don’t seem to be buzzing. Since late June, the number of bees in gardens seems to have dropped dramatically. At first I assumed this was a localised phenomenon, but with a growing number of enquiries coming in, I thought it was best to check with our Data Monitoring Officer, Richard Comont, the man who manages BBCT’s surveys. It turns out he had noticed and had heard the same thing!

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How can your school help bumblebees?

I do a few events with schools and find that teachers are generally enthusiastic about bumblebees and want to be able to spread the message to their students. One of our members, Philip Hughes, is the Headmaster of Crab Lane Primary School in Manchester. At that school they've made great efforts to educate the children about bees through interesting and creative projects. Read on to find out more in this guest blog from Philip...

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