Bumblebee blog

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.

Bumblebees of the World Blog Series… #9 Bombus gerstaeckeri

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.

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Bumblebees of the World Blog Series… #7 Bombus inexspectatus

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.

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Bumblebees of the World Blog Series… #6 Bombus rupestris

by Darryl Cox, Senior Science & Policy Officer.

Bumblebees of the world would not be complete without delving into the darker side of bumblebee life, and so this month features one of around thirty described parasitic cuckoo bumblebees, the Red-tailed cuckoo (Bombus rupestris).

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Bumblebees of the World Blog Series… #5 Bombus cullumanus

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.

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Bumblebees of the World Blog Series… #4 Bombus fraternus

by Darryl Cox, Senior Science & Policy Officer

The Southern Plains bumblebee (Bombus fraternus) features in this month’s Bumblebees of the World blog, with a particular focus on how the species’ endangered conservation status was classified by the  IUCN’s Bumblebee Specialist Group (BBSG).

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World’s biggest bee rediscovered

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.

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Bumblebees of the World Blog Series… #3 Bombus affinis

By Elizabeth Franklin, Bumblebee Researcher, Guelph, Canada

This month's Bumblebees of the World blog is written by Bumblebee Researcher, Elizabeth Franklin, from the University of Guelph, who focuses on the plight of a critically endangered bumblebee in North America.

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Shrill carder bee project blog

by Rosie Earwaker from Buglife, Back from the Brink’s Shrill Carder Bee Project Officer

Hints of spring are in the air. Bulbs are peeking up through the soil, with plenty of snowdrops, daffodils and crocus already in flower. Sightings of Buff-tailed bumblebees in gardens are more and more frequent as the days grow longer. It won’t be long now until different bumblebee species join them, although we will have to wait a couple more months until the high pitched buzz of our Shrill carder bee returns. It certainly won’t be a silent spring this year, but where will we be in 100 years’ time?

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Bumblebees of the World Blog Series… #2 Bombus transversalis

by Darryl Cox, Senior Science & Policy Officer

This month our bumblebee world tour stays in South America, although we are heading north from Patagonia into the Amazon basin, where our species in the spotlight is the Amazonian bumblebee, Bombus transversalis.

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Bumblebees of the World . . . #1 Bombus dahlbomii

by Darryl Cox, Senior Science & Policy Officer

There are around 250 species of bumblebees across planet Earth, stretching across most of the Northern Hemisphere, from the arctic, right down to the southern-most tip of South America in the Southern Hemisphere. Each bumblebee species has a different distribution and all are an important part of life within their ecosystems. By transferring pollen that helps plants set fruit and reproduce, they are involved in the base layers of numerous food chains, which provide food and shelter for a great multitude of living things (including ourselves).

This year, we have decided to show our appreciation for some of the most beautiful and diverse bumblebees from across the world in our monthly Bumblebees of the World blog series, and what better way to start our series than with one of the world’s largest and most iconic bumblebees: Bombus dahlbomii.

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