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

BEE KIND WEEK

Monday 19th June: ‘Bee Aware’ day

When you see a bee, is your first reaction to run away? If so, you’re not alone. 24%* of us said they would either wave their arms frantically in the bee’s direction or run away. We want to change the perception of these misunderstood stripy natives and prove why they really are the bee’s knees.

Tuesday 20th June: ‘Care for a Bee’ day

Bees feed off the nectar and pollen found in plants to give them the protein and carbohydrates they need, but sometimes they need a little helping hand…
Bees LOVE sugary things, so if you find a drowsy or stranded bee, you can help boost its energy levels with a simple sugar-water mix. Mix two tablespoons of white sugar with one tablespoon of water then pour into an egg cup. This acts as artificial nectar, so if you pop it outside near some flowers of foliage, the bee will soon find it and drink it up.

Wednesday 21st June: ‘Plant Bee-Friendly Seeds’ day

However you use your garden space, we all enjoy the colourful rewards of planting flowers and shrubs – bees too. Not only will they make your garden the envy of Alan Titchmarsh, but planting the right kinds of flowers can make whole new habitats for our lovely bees.  Bees love:

• English Lavender
• Common Jasmine
• Sweet William
• Rose Campion
• Bergamot
• Hyssop
• Dame’s Violet

So, get your seeds and get planting!

Thursday 22nd June: ‘Crafty Bee’ day

One for the kids and the big kid in you, from colouring in your very own campsite scene to creating your own bee-kind mask, there will be activities available which the whole family can enjoy together.  Download our Bee Kind packs here.

Friday 23rd June: ‘Cook with Honey’ day

Embrace your inner chef with some delicious honey-inspired recipes. Did you know, eating your locally produced honey can also go a long way towards alleviating symptoms of hay fever? We love ours drizzled over roasted carrots; or poured over fresh berries and Greek yoghurt…(or in the occasional hot toddy for those cooler nights!)

Saturday 24th June: ‘Bee kind and make a donation’ day

These humble bumbles need our help and support and the best way of doing that is donating a few pence to The Bumblebee Conservation Trust. We are delighted to partner with the charity on our Bee Kind campaign and help protect bee habitats in the UK. That’s why on ‘Bee kind and make a donation’ day, we’re asking you to dig deep and help a bee in need! Even one pound can go a long way…

Sunday 25th June: Photograph a Bee Day

Show off your finest bee photography and share your snaps on social media using hashtag #BeeKindWeek. You never know, you might be the next David Bee-ley (sorry…)

*March 2017 survey by Camping in the Forest of 2,000 people in the UK.

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The Bumblebees of Kent - last copies available!

The 'Bumblebees of Kent' is a beautifully written & illustrated book by Dr Nikki Gammans & Geoff Allen, covering topics from the bumblebee lifecycle to gardening for bumblebees! This book is for everyone to enjoy & be inspired to save the sound of summer.

After three print runs, we now only have 45 copies available to purchase! The cost is £9 + £2 p&p. If you would be interested in purchasing this book, please email: nikki.gammans@bumblebeeconservation.org for further details.

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Campaigns to change wildlife legislation in the UK

Wildlife charities across the UK are fighting to protect native species from the bumblebee to hedgehogs. Many charities & organisations are seeking to protect them by law. Law Absolute takes a look at recent campaigns to change UK wildlife legislation here.

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Bumblebee Conservation Trust Terms & Conditions: Copella & RHS Prize Draw

• 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 19th April 2017 and 23:59 BST on 25th April 2017.

• To Enter: Provide an answer on Facebook in the comments below answering the question ‘how many pairs of wings does a bumblebee have?’, and tag a friend that you would like to take with you.

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Twenty Species brought ‘Back from the Brink’ thanks to the National Lottery

Back from the Brink is an innovative project to save our rarest and most threatened wildlife such as the chequered skipper butterfly, ladybird spider and the Shrill carder bee. Led by Natural England, the project involves Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife, RSPB and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. It’s the first time so many conservation organisations have joined together to tackle species extinction.

This major conservation project of its kind, with 20 UK species facing extinction, will be brought Back from the Brink thanks to an overwhelming £4.6 million funding from the National Lottery. The funding will also support a further 200 species of threatened animals, plants and fungi across sites in the UK.

Back from the Brink aims to highlight the importance of a co-ordinated effort to bring charities and conservation organisations together to save threatened species by improving habitat. Over the next four years, hundreds of volunteers including landowners, farmers and local community groups will work together to record these threatened species, help improve habitats and provide integrated advice and action for these species.

Working together on this project with Buglife, we aim to map the distributions of the Shrill carder bumblebee in England to help us better understand the distribution and abundance of this bumblebee and then undertake targeted land management activities to boost population numbers.

Gill Perkins, CEO of the Trust said “we are delighted to be part of such an important and inspirational programme working with these organisations to save some of our most threatened species, including the Shrill carder bee, found in only seven areas in southern England and Wales; action now will allow our future generations to enjoy wildlife for years to come”.

To read more about the project, visit: https://www.hlf.org.uk/about-us/news-features/native-wildlife-back-brink