Latest news

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

Share

Bee Coalition calls on Defra to reject NFU neonics application

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has joined forces with the Bee Coalition* in order to drive forward our policy position on the use of pesticides and their impact on bee health. Recently the National Farmers Union (NFU) indicated that it wishes to apply for an emergency licence to apply neonicotinoid seed treatment to oil seed rape crops sown this Autumn. The Bee Coalition has written to Defra urging them to reject this application.
Oil seed rape
more...
Share

Congratulations to Dr Peter Graystock, runner-up in this year’s NERC Award!

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust would like to offer its congratulations to Dr Peter Graystock, who has been named runner-up in this year’s Early Career Impact NERC (the Natural Environment Research Council) Award.

Peter has been recognised by NERC for his scientific research looking at the conservation implications of importing commercial bumblebee colonies. His work, conducted at the University of Leeds in partnership with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, found that bumblebees imported for commercial use in the UK were infested with a range of parasites upon their arrival. These findings indicate that our native wild bumblebees could be at risk of infection from commercial bumblebees, something which Natural England have taken on board and has prompted them to tighten the licensing regime for those wishing to purchase commercial bumblebees. They have also heavily restricted imports of non-native commercial bumblebees, which is great news for our wild native species.

more...
Share

Parasites fail to halt European bumblebee invasion of the UK

A species of bee from Europe has been found to have stronger resistance to parasite infections than native bumblebees - allowing it to spread across the UK.

Tree bumblebees, which arrived in the UK from continental Europe 13 years ago,  have spread rapidly despite carrying high levels of an infection that normally prevents queen bees from producing colonies according to research by scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The study, Parasites and genetic diversity in an invasive bumblebee, was published today in the Journal of Animal Ecology. It found Tree bumblebees (Bombus hypnorum) have spread at an average rate of nearly 4,500 square miles – about half the size of Wales – every year.

Researchers collected Tree bumblebee queens from the wild, checked them for parasites and then monitored colony development in a laboratory. Despite the bees having low genetic diversity and high levels of a nematode parasite that usually castrates other species, 25 per cent of the queens were able to produce offspring. 

Scientists believe the spread of tree bumblebees could have both positive and negative impacts on native bees.

more...
Share

Short-haired bumblebee nests in the UK for the first time in 25 years

The Short-haired bumblebee reintroduction project has been boosted by the discovery of several worker bees, following the introduction of 50 queens of that species earlier this year.

more...
Share

Birds helping bees

Chippindale Foods Limited (CFL) and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) are partnering to help halt the decline of Britain’s bumblebees.   The partnership will develop bee-friendly habitats on Chippindale’s farms throughout Yorkshire and the north east of England.

Chippendale Foods Limited

more...