Here you will find informal updates on our projects, top tips from our staff and volunteers on how to support bumblebees and interesting guest articles from our partners. Use the category buttons to filter the blog articles by topic.
by Claire Wallace, PhD student.
Road verges. A buzzword in pollinator conservation. Here in the UK there is an estimated 500,000 kilometres of road verge just waiting to be transformed. With over 700 species of wildflower found in road verges, it is no surprise that they have been branded a “refuge” for pollinators. Current scientific research generally supports this idea, with studies often showing that verges host a greater number of pollinator species and individuals than surrounding agricultural or semi-natural habitat (Gardiner et al., 2018; Villemey et al., 2018). The increasing profile of verges and their potential for pollinators is reflected in the demand for more research from scientists, and better management plans from councils and highways managers. Read More
by Jack Reid, Outreach and Volunteering Officer at Bumblebee Conservation Trust
So, you kidnapped a bumblebee…
Each year, the Trust receives dozens of e-mails and phone calls from well-intentioned beenappers who have been out and about and found a tired-looking lone bumblebee that they’ve rescued and taken home with them to care for. In case you’ve been considering the practicalities of taking a bumblebee home, we have written up this useful guide to caring for your new friend, without taking it home! Read More
by Denis Michez, Researcher at Université de Mons, Belgium and contributor to the IUCN RedList assessment for several European bumblebee species.
This month Bumblebees of the World features Bombus brodmannicus, a poorly understood and endangered bumblebee species found in two fragmented populations separated by more than 2,500km!
by Denis Michez, Researcher at Université de Mons, Belgium.
September’s blog features a vulnerable European bumblebee species, Bombus gerstaeckeri, and comes from Denis Michez, a researcher at Université de Mons, Belgium, who studies global bee diversity and conservation.
By Chawatat Thanoosing, PhD student and Paul Williams, researcher at the Natural History Museum London
This month we’ll explore a deep montane tropical forest in Asia, where Chawatat Thanoosing— a PhD student at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum—is doing his research on the ecology of tropical bumblebees, to see the remarkable giant bumblebee, Bombus eximius.
by Darryl Cox, Senior Science & Policy Officer.
July’s Bumblebees of the world blog features the endangered Bombus inexspectatus, literally an unexpected European bumblebee, first described by Tkalcu in 1963, which has been found to parasitize on the Red-shanked carder bee (Bombus ruderarius). This species is one of two bumblebees, outside of the typical cuckoo bumblebee group (discussed in last month’s blog) to have evolved a parasitic way of life.
by Paul Williams, Researcher at the Natural History Museum, London, and Darryl Cox, Senior Science & Policy Officer.
This month, Bumblebees of the world returns from across the Atlantic to feature Cullum’s bumblebee (Bombus cullumanus), a Eurasian species which is sadly no longer found in the UK and has experienced drastic declines across the rest of Western Europe.
By Cathy Horsley, Bumblebee Conservation Trust Conservation Officer for the West Country Buzz project.
An enormous bee with a 64 mm wing span that was thought to be extinct has been rediscovered this year. Wallace’s bee, Megachile pluto, was first known to science in 1859 when it was described by Alfred Russel Wallace. It was last seen in the 1980s, but was found recently by researchers to be alive and well on the Indonesian Maluku Islands. When insects are rare, or found in very specific types of habitat, they can go undetected; in this case for decades.