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

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New Pollinator Strategy for Scotland Published

The Scottish Government has published a 10 year strategy plan to reverse the decline of pollinating insects. The plan which was created by Scottish Natural Heritage, with the help of key environmental organisations, including Bumblebee Conservation Trust, sets out five essential objectives to address the causes of decline in pollinating insects and ensure that they are able to thrive in the future.

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Making a Buzz thanks to the National Lottery

We are delighted to announce we have been awarded £965,300 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to launch our Making a Buzz for the Coast project, which has been in its development stage. Thanks to National Lottery players who raised the money, we have been awarded a total of £1,077,900 (including development phase funding)! The project aims to secure the future of Kent's bumblebees and other pollinating insects spanning 135 miles of Kent’s coastline from Dartford to Deal, starting in October 2017 until September 2020.

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BBC Countryfile Live

This prize draw is open to residents of the UK aged 18 and over, excluding employees of the Promoter, their families, agents and all those professionally associated with this Promotion.

• Promotion Period: Enter between 00:01 BST on 21st July 2017 and 23:59 BST on 23rd July 2017*

• To Enter: Provide an answer on Facebook in the comments below answering the question ‘how many cuckoo bumblebee species do we have in the UK?’.

• All entries must be received by the end of the Promotion Period to be valid and no liability is accepted for illegible, incomplete or late entries.

• Only one entry per person is permitted on Facebook. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint submissions are not allowed.

• The Prize: Five (5) people will each win a pair of tickets to BBC Countryfile Live which will take place from the 3-6 August. Each pair of tickets will be valid for any one day of the show. The show will take place at Palace Woodstock Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, OX20 1PP. Ticket value £27.

• Winner Selection: The winners will be drawn at random by a computer-generated system that produces verifiable random results no later than 25/07/2017.

• Winner notification: The winner will be notified via Facebook within 2 working days after the prize draw and will be required to respond to confirm eligibility plus acceptance of the prize within 2 days of initial contact (1st day of initial contact counts as day one). Those not contactable via reasonable means within this time frame (by the 2nd day) will be disqualified and an alternative winning entrant will be awarded the prize on the same basis as described above. The winner will be asked for their preferred delivery address, for the sole purpose of sending them the prize by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

• We reserve the right to substitute the prize with another prize of equal or greater value.

• We have organised this prize draw in good faith but cannot accept any liability relating to the prize draw or the prize offered.

• The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any costs associated with the prize and not specifically included in the prize (including, without limitation, travel to and from the event venue).

• The Promoter reserves the right to verify the eligibility of entrants. The Promoter may require such information as it considers reasonably necessary for this purpose and a prize may be withheld unless and until the Promoter is satisfied with the verification.

• The Promoter reserves the right at its sole discretion to eliminate or disqualify any entries or entrants that it regards as being in breach of these conditions or the spirit of the Promotion.

• The Promoter accepts no responsibility for system errors or other issues that may result in disruption to lost or delayed winner notifications.

• Your personal data will be treated in confidence and will not be disclosed to any third parties for their marketing purposes without your prior consent.

• All entries must be made by the entrant themselves. Bulk entries made from trade, consumer groups or third parties will not be accepted. Incomplete or illegible entries, entries by macros or other automated means (including systems which can be programmed to enter), and entries which do not satisfy the requirements of these terms and conditions in full will be disqualified and will not be counted. If it becomes apparent that an entrant is using a computer(s) to circumvent this condition by, for example, the use of script, brute force, masking their identity by manipulating IP addresses, using identities other than their own or any other automated means in order to increase that entrants entries into the Promotion in a way that is not consistent with the spirit of the Promotion, that entrants entries will be disqualified and any prize award will be void.

• The Promoter cannot be held responsible for third party products and services offered as prizes and all such prizes may be subject to the provider’s standard terms and conditions.

• The winner's name and country will be made available on request within two weeks of the winner being announced.

• By entering the Promotion, entrants confirm that they have read and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and by the decisions of the Promoter, which are final in all matters relating to the Promotion. Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of the prize.

• By entering this prize draw you acknowledge and agree that this prize draw is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

• By entering this prize draw, you agree to Bumblebee Conservation Trust using your personal details to process your entry to the draw and use your data according to Bumblebee Conservation Trust privacy policy.

• The Promoter cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss or injury suffered by any entrant entering the Promotion or as a result of accepting or participating in any prize. Nothing shall exclude the Promoter’s liability for death or personal injury as a result of its negligence.

• All entry instructions form part of these terms and conditions. By entering this promotion, all participants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by them.

• These terms and conditions are governed by English Law and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

• The promoter of this prize draw is Bumblebee Conservation Trust. For details of the winner's name and country please send a SAE to Fundraising Officer, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Parkway House Business Centre, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 5AD.

*Please note due to the response received on our Facebook post dated 20th July 2017, the decision was taken to include those participants in the prize draw. 

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Pan-European study on neonicotinoids finds negative effects in bees under realistic conditions

Researchers from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) have published the results of their long-awaited, pan-European field study examining how real-world exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides affects bees. This important experiment, conducted in the UK, Germany and Hungary, supports the results of earlier, smaller-scale experiments which found neonicotinoids to be harmful to bees, especially wild bees. The study found negative effects in domestic Honeybees (Apis mellifera) in the UK and Hungary, while the most damning effects were found in the reproductive capabilities of Buff-tail bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and Red Mason bees (Osmia bicornis) across all three countries.

Buff-tail bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) on oilseed rape.

Lead author, Dr Ben Woodcock said "The neonicotinoids investigated caused a reduced capacity for all three bee species to establish new populations in the following year, at least in the UK and Hungary."

Gill Perkins, Bumblebee Conservation Trust CEO, said ‘We welcome this major field study by CEH, the findings of which further support the action taken by the European Commission to ban the three most widely-used neonicotinoids on flowering crops due to their harmful effects on bees, particularly wild bees. We remain committed to keeping the ban in place and are currently in the process of updating our policy on neonicotinoid pesticides.  This will be discussed and agreed at our Trustee Board meeting at the end of August.’

Further information about the study, published in Science on the 29th June 2017, can be found here.

The current BBCT neonicotinoid policy is available here.

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Give a Buzz About Our Humble Bumbles, with Bee Kind Week

This week from 19th - 25th June, Camping in the Forest are joining forces with wildlife expert, Chris Packham, to launch the UK’s first Bee Kind Week, to highlight the plight of the bumblebee and really create a buzz about bees - so we've asked them all about it...

The plight of the bumblebee has been well-documented, yet despite this, two species of bee have already been made completely extinct in the UK, with several more under threat due to manmade methods of farming and construction. Not only are bees very loveable (they even make a ‘whoop’ sound when they bump into each other), but they are integral to our ecosystem.

One thing we love here at Camping in the Forest, is the abundance of incredible wildlife we have around our UK campsites, and we’re passionate about protecting it too. So, with our recent survey* revealing that alarmingly 22% of Brits now only ever see bees in the great outdoors once every six months or less, and 9% claiming they rarely ever spot a bee in the UK, we decided it was time we did something to make sure bees remain firmly on our wildlife radar.

That’s why we’ve joined wildlife expert, Chris Packham and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to launch the UK’s first EVER ‘Bee Kind’ week, from 19th June – 25th June, to really create a buzz about bees.

Chris commented: “Not only are bumblebees incredibly cute but they are also integral to our ecosystem and their numbers are dwindling fast. Sadly, most of the public aren’t aware of the enormous impact they have on our ecosystem. Bee Kind week is all about raising awareness of this, while doing something fun everyone can get involved with.  Getting kids involved in bee conservation in particular is a great way to educate future generations on protecting these precious species.

“Whether it’s finding out how to feed them or what plants to plant, to attract them to your garden, it’s easy to do your bit and help the bees. It’s about time we had a whole week dedicated to bees, so I will be getting fully behind Camping in the Forest’s Bee Kind week, and I hope you will too.”

So, what’s Bee Kind week?

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