Latest news

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

Share

State of Nature report shows that UK wildlife is in trouble

The State of Nature report was launched today, revealing the poor state of many of our habitats and wildlife populations. This report was produced through collaboration between 25 environmental charities in the UK, including the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Worryingly, it shows that two thirds of the insect species analysed have declined over the past 50 years.

Flowering plants, which provide the vital nectar and pollen that bumblebees are wholly dependent upon, have been shown to have declined by a staggering 58% in Scotland, a figure also mirrored in the rest of the UK. This is extremely concerning, and once again proves how much more work needs to be done to protect and improve habitats for our wildlife. We have collaborated with RSPB on a number of projects to create habitat for bumblebees, and believe that such partnerships are important for the welfare of bumblebees and other wildlife.

more...
Share

New partnership with Mineral Products Association to help bumblebees

The MPA and Bumblebee Conservation Trust have established an exciting new partnership to help conserve bees and help them thrive.  A new Memorandum of Understanding between the organisations will be the basis of partnership working that will include facilitating access to quarry sites for monitoring, advising and educating quarry staff on measures that help bees including creation of suitable habitat, and training quarry staff to recognise and survey their sites for bees.

Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive MPA, said:  “MPA members have a long legacy of high quality restoration and are uniquely placed to protect and enhance biodiversity and help arrest the decline of rare and threatened species and habitats. This partnership will enable the industry to help do what we can for bees which are under threat and play a crucial part in maintaining ecosystem services.” more...

Share

Call for public to help chart the UK’s bumblebee population

Have you ever wondered which bumblebees roam your garden?

Scientists and conservationists are calling for the public's help to map the UK’s bumblebee population - all you need is a digital camera.

Though acknowledged as some of nature’s most important pollinators, relatively little is known about the geographical spread of these insects.

With the help of the public it is hoped that the bumblebee maps – showing their locations across the country - can be significantly improved.

To make it easy, a new web tool has been developed by environmental and computing scientists at the University of Aberdeen, in collaboration with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT). By taking part, participants will add dots to the map and will learn how to identify the species around them.

Dr René van der Wal from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Biological Sciences explained: “Bumblebees have a unique ecology which make them not only fascinating creatures, but also one of nature’s most important pollinators, playing a vital role in the fruiting of many of the UK’s plants.

“However, there are big holes in our knowledge about where to find some species, and how their populations may be changing over time.

“We are calling on the public to help us fill this gap in knowledge by taking pictures of bumblebees in their gardens and then uploading them to the BeeWatch system on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website.”

more...
Share

Extinct Short-haired bumblebee returns to Britain after 24 years

Flowering fields in Kent will today welcome home Bombus subterraneus – otherwise known as the Short-haired bumblebee - nearly a quarter of a century after the bee was last seen in Britain.

The culmination of a three year reintroduction project, backed by Natural England, the RSPB, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Hymettus, will see queen bees released at the RSPB’s Dungeness reserve this morning.  The partnership will closely monitor how the bees take to their new surroundings and over the summer months, surveys will be carried out to determine bee numbers and to see if they are exploring beyond the release site.

The Short-haired bumblebee is one of 27 bumblebee species native to the UK. It was formerly widespread in south-eastern England and could be found as far as Yorkshire and Cornwall. Numbers fell during the twentieth century and by the 1980s it was restricted to Dungeness and the Romney Marshes in Kent. It was last seen in Britain in 1988 and declared extinct in 2000.

The Short-haired bumblebee project hinges on the creation of healthy bumblebee habitat by local farmers. Using Environmental Stewardship funding, farmers in Dungeness have been preparing for the bees’ homecoming by growing flower-rich borders and meadows essential for a range of nectar feeding insects from bumblebees to butterflies.
more...

Share

Do you have the UK’s most bee-friendly garden?

This week BBCT celebrates its sixth birthday and to celebrate we have launched our Bees for Everyone project with a nationwide hunt for the UK’s most bee-friendly gardens.

Bees for Everyone aims to raise public awareness of the threats bumblebees face, inspire gardeners of all ages to get planting, and provide opportunities for people to learn more about these hard-working pollinators. Additionally, we will be helping rare bumblebees through active conservation work to safeguard, restore and create habitats for them.

It is very easy to enter our ‘Bee kind’ competition to find the UK’s most bee-friendly gardens. Just visit our new online Bee kind tool which makes it easy for people to get a Bee kind score for their garden or window box. Competition winners will receive a range of prizes and will have photos of their garden included in a Bee kind calendar, on sale for Christmas 2012.

more...