All about the bees 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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The journey of a flower . . .

This month we have a guest blog from Tom Le Mesurier, Florist Up My Street.

The journey of a simple flower, from where it’s grown to our living room is no small feat and definitely one of extremes! You could pop into the garden and snip an overgrown bush, but if you visit your local florist it’s a whole other story... In fact, a £100billion and a 100million year worldwide story!

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Making a home for Leaf-cutter bees

By Suzanne Rex, Conservation & Volunteer Assistant

I began working at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in February 2016, answering a number of enquiries and helping out in the office. Starting this job with little knowledge about bumblebees and other pollinators, I have been required to research a great deal of information for email replies. This opened my eyes to the huge diversity and importance of pollinators. One group of bees which I found particularly interesting were Leaf-cutter bees, which is why I decided to write a blog about them.


Leaf-cutter bee (Megachile sp.) in a nest. Photo: Anne Donelly

As well as the social living bumblebees and honeybees, there are over 225 species of Solitary bees pollinating the UK. They are called solitary bees as they have no social caste and basically fend for themselves and their offspring. Leaf-cutter bees belong to the Megachilidae family, and are a fantastic pollinating group for a variety of fruit, veg and other plants including wildflowers.

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The Plight of the Bumblebee

"I moved closer and not only heard it, saw it – the biggest, fattest, furriest bumblebee ever.  I could barely believe my eyes".

We recently received this delightful story, by Bumblebee Conservation Member, Judith Pearson, and her encounter with a queen bumblebee in Winter! We hope you enjoy reading and sharing with friends and family.

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We’ve got bumblebees under our shed

The beauty and importance of bumblebees have been inspiring artists for centuries and poetry is one medium which can, and has, been used effectively to communicate important messages about the plight of these vital creatures.

Poetry is also an excellent way to encourage children to observe, learn and think about bumblebees. Here at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust we regularly receive phonecalls from parents and teachers who are worried about their childrens' safety because they have discovered a bumblebee nest in their gardens at home or at school. Our approach is always to encourage the callers to use the opportunity to teach their children to respect bumblebees and observe their wonderful behaviour from a safe distance. Linking this to art projects (be it bumblebee finger painting or creative writing) can add an extra element of fun.

BBCT supporter Kris Spencer did just that when he discovered a bumblebee nest under his shed.

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Short-haired bumblebee wild flower management advice

By Dr Nikki Gammans, Short-haired bumblebee Project Manager

Giving advice on flower rich habitat creation, management and maintenance is an important part of all our conservation projects. For the short-haired bumblebee project, we work with approximately 70 farmers and 25 landowners; to date we have given advice on over 1,200 hectares in the Romney Marsh and Dungeness area of Kent and East Sussex. We continue to manage and maintain some of our own habitat with the help of volunteers.

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