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.


Giving wild flowers a chance

By Aoife O’Rourke, Conservation Officer (SW England)

“ NOTHING is so beautiful as spring-
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look like low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightenings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and bloom, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.”

(Excerpt from ‘Spring’, Gerard Manley Hopkins)


Calon Wen – the bees cheese!

By Sinead Lynch, Conservation Officer, Wales

In spring 2015, I was contacted by David Edge, Chairman of the Calon Wen organic dairy cooperative, who was interested in finding out if there were ways in which the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Calon Wen could work together to make their farms more bumblebee friendly. Cheese is one of my favourite things in the whole world, so I couldn’t resist!


The Scottish Pollinator Strategy

By Katy Malone, Conservation Officer, Scotland

“You voluble,
Vehement fellows
That play on your
Flying and
Musical cellos,
All goldenly
Girdled you
Serenade clover,
Each artist in
Bass but a
Bibulous rover!”

An excerpt from Bees – by Norman Rowland Gale


The trials and tribulations of managing urban grasslands for pollinators

By Sam Page, Project Development Manager – Making a Buzz for the Coast

I’m writing this blog from the train on my way back from an interesting day out in Bristol.  I’m not normally in that neck of the woods (it’s a bit of a trek from Brighton and Kent where I spend most of my time) – and I didn’t get to see much of Bristol itself – as I was there for a ‘Knowledge Exchange’ workshop on Managing urban grasslands for pollinators run by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and the University of Bristol as part of the National Pollinator Strategy.


The short-haired bumblebee project’s summary of 2015 and plans for 2016

By Nikki Gammans, Sub-T Project Manager

In May 2015 the project undertook its fourth trip to Sweden to collect emerging queens and then completed the release in June, after two weeks of quarantine. The project is now planning its fifth Swedish queen collection and release for 2016. This will mark the end of our first stage of releases. In 2016 we will focus on analysing the genetics of the workers. We will be attempting to obtain faecal samples of the workers by placing them in a sterile tube and waiting up to ten minutes until they defecate. The faecal sample can then be analysed for DNA and compared to the queens released in that year to determine whether they are workers from the year’s release, or previous years. We will review our aims for the project going forward ie do we need to complete more releases in South Kent to help establish a population, or would it be possible to extend the release to elsewhere in Kent.

Short-haired Bumblebee queen (Bombus subterraneus)








Short-haired bumblebee queen (Bombus subterraneus) in Sweden