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Bringing back a healthy buzz? Invertebrate parasites and reintroductions: a case study in bumblebees

The short-haired bumblebee project is pleased to announce its first scientific paper has been published in the journal Ecohealth. The paper discusses the risks associated with reintroductions and parasites and how this is managed for our reintroduction of Bombus subterraneus.  To enable us to reintroduce this species we first had to construct a disease risk analysis of potential bumblebee parasites. From this data we then wrote a disease risk management plan to cover all aspects of capture-quarantine-release that minimise the impacts on both the bumblebee and their natural parasites. The paper is authored by Prof Mark Brown (Royal Holloway University of London), Gavin Measures (Natural England), Dr Tony Sainsbury and Dr Rebecca Vaughan-Higgins (ZSL), Dr Catherine Jones (University of Leeds) and Dr Nikki Gammans (Bumblebee Conservation Trust).

Click here to read the full paper.

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Bumblebee Conservation Trust - 9th Annual General Meeting 2015

By Michael Usher, Chairman

At our AGM in December, our Chairman, Michael Usher, spoke to a packed room of members. He reflected on the highlights of our conservation work during 2014/2015 and shared our plans for 2016.

You can read Michael’s speech in full by clicking below and reading more.

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New research exposes secret cocktail of toxic pesticides in hedgerows and wildflowers

Scientists at Sussex University have discovered that bees are exposed to a chemical cocktail when feeding from wildflowers growing next to neonicotinoid treated crops in UK farmland. These chemical cocktails could make the impact of neonicotinoids up to 1,000 times more potent than previously realised.

One in 10 species of Europe's wild bees is facing extinction, and neonicotinoid insecticides are increasingly seen as contributing to these declines.  In addition to neonicotinoids, farmers may spray some non-organic crops a dozen or more times while they are growing, with anything up to 23 different chemicals. 

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