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.

Pollinators in sweet cherry orchards

The full bloom of cherry blossoms is a beautiful and yet ephemeral event that lasts about three weeks (typically from mid-April to early May). Numerous blossoms are available to pollinators, but resources are scarce for them in orchards after the blossom period. Read More

Pollinators in a Pandemic

by Claire Wallace, PhD Student.

In these “unprecedented times” many of us are quite-rightly uncertain and anxious about what the Covid-19 pandemic means for us, our families and friends, and our jobs. We are all subject to a constant battering of information from TV, radio, and newspapers which can make it even harder to find the silver lining in this ever-growing dark cloud. But I would like to present a silver lining for you now – bees. Whilst our world changes, bees continue bumbling around in their search for flowers completely unaware of our current situation. So how can a viral outbreak be connected positively with bees?

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The Nature of our Village Project in Penparcau

By Chloe Griffiths

Our community has a biological recording project in the village of Penparcau, near Aberystwyth, in West Wales, and part of this work is a particular focus on bumblebees. We have taken part in BeeWalk since 2017 and it is popular with local people. We’ve been going long enough to have some data to compare with the national picture and a short comparison between how bumblebees are doing in our village and in the UK as a whole. Read More

On the Hive-way: Roadsides and Pollinators

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

Should you take a bumblebee home?

 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

Bumblebees of the World Blog Series… #10 Bombus brodmannicus

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!

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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… #8 Bombus eximius

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.

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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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