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.
Having received a £5000 reward, here is what Peter had to say about what the award means to him and how he will use the prize funding to further his research: “It’s fantastic to receive recognition not just for my work and its impact but also recognition that there is still much to do to ensure farming practices don't harm our wild bees. I intend to use the prize money to further research in this area whilst continuing to consult with Natural England to ensure the research has a targeted impact on regulating the commercial bee industry and reducing the risks our wild pollinators face.”
Note to Eds
For more information with regards to commercial bumblebee imports and their implications please contact firstname.lastname@example.org