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.

What’s in a name?

by Katy Malone, Bumblebee Conservation Trust Conservation Officer (Scotland)

Ever wondered how bumblebees came to be called bumblebees? It’s an odd sort of word. I don’t really think of bumblebees actually doing much bumbling about. They are usually far too busy working the flowers for nectar and pollen to feed the young larvae in the nest for wasting time ‘bumbling’*. Read More

Recording bumblebees and other pollinators in my garden, by Steve Hull

I’ve always loved wildlife. Collecting wildlife cards from packets of tea and reading Observer’s Books set me off on that course, with little other encouragement at eight years old.

I try to make my own garden and nearby community woodlands, where I lead work parties, as good a habitat as I can for all sorts of species. I have also persuaded the local Moray Council to agree to some special amphibian ladders in some of the drains and they work very well and I now have several amphibian hibernacula around the garden. BeeWalks fit into that connection with my local habitat very well. Read More

My first year of being a BeeWalker, by Loretta Francia

Hello, my name is Loretta and I’m a brand new BeeWalker! Several years ago, my partner George and I started a market garden business in Cornwall from scratch. The area was just a boring stubble field when we started and the first project was planting some hedges (early willow, Italian alder, and Rosa rugosa) to slow the westerly winds down – the originals had apparently been removed in the 1960s during farm “improvement”. It was a bee desert! Soon after, we started keeping honeybees to help with the pollination of our newly planted fruit bushes and veg. It wasn’t long before we noted how lazy honeybees were and how industrious bumblebees are! They’re up earlier in the day and earlier in the year, go to bed long after the honey bees are tucked up in their hives and they’re even out working on rainy days. Read More

Change starts at home

Emiel Durbal, graphic designer and volunteer ambassador for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, highlights the plight of the bumblebee through design, and with a growing Instagram following, uses this as a platform to reach a wider audience and influence change.

Emiel takes great pride and passion in conserving the natural world and is proud to represent the Trust as a young volunteer ambassador to help raise awareness and inspire his generation to take action for these amazing creatures. Emiel recently donated a T-shirt design for our Teemill range, to raise money for the Trust and in turn, to help the UK’s bumblebee population. Read Emiel’s latest blog.

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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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So you’ve seen a bee, what happens next?

Our Science Manager Dr Richard Comont, tells us how to identify and record that bee you’ve spotted.

We’ve all heard that bees are struggling. But how do we actually know this? And how are all the individual bee species doing? The answer may be closer than you think . . .

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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

Our position on managed honeybees

The Trust has published a new position statement on managed honeybees. The statement has been prompted by concerns that, under certain circumstances, managed honeybees can have detrimental impacts on wild pollinator species, including bumblebees.

Our Senior Science & Policy Officer, Darryl Cox, provides the background on why we’ve decided to publish the statement. Read More

The 2020 Oxford Real Farming Conference

by Katy Malone, Conservation Officer (Scotland)

This year marked the 11th ORFC conference, based in Oxford Town Hall and nearby venues in early January. I hadn’t attended before, having assumed (wrongly), that it was relevant to England only and I work in Scotland (agriculture is a devolved matter). However, my colleagues encouraged me to go, and I was very glad that I did. So my co-worker Sam Page and I landed in central Oxford in early January, armed with posters, leaflets, and packets of wildflower seeds. Read More

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