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.

Braunton Burrows Bumblebee Blitz

by Dr. Cathy Horsley, Senior Project Officer for the West Country Buzz project

Braunton Burrows in North Devon is four square miles of spectacular sand dunes, and home to a rich variety of plant and animal life. It is extremely important for bumblebees and holds Devon’s last remaining large population of the nationally declining Section 41 Priority species, the Brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis). Elsewhere in the county, it is known only from scattered records at a handful of sites around North Devon.

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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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An interview with a sustainable farmer

by Sinead Lynch, Senior Conservation Officer for Bumblebee Conservation Trust

At Bumblebee Conservation Trust we are particularly interested in methods of farming which provide habitats which are rich in flowers for bumblebees to forage on. There is an increasing movement in the farming industry towards sustainable and regenerative agriculture. Such low input and low cost methods make a farm business more resilient, and taking care of your most important resources on-farm – soil, habitats, water – makes the land more resilient to change (e.g. extreme weather such as drought). These low input methods also help to restore flower-rich habitats such as grasslands. Read More

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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BumbleBike 2019

by Ro Green.

Last summer I found myself on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website, looking at the map of project sites and thinking “I bet I could cycle to all of those”. I’d never cycled for more than a day at a time. A year later I set out to join these places by pedal power over the course of a month. This cycle tour came at the end of three years spent studying Biology at Oxford University, and it was incredible to see how the science I’d spent years learning about was put into practice by the Trust. Read More

Bees find a helping hand on my allotment

by Katy Malone, Bumblebee Conservation Trust Conservation Officer for Scotland

Being a fully paid-up member of the bumblebee fan club, no-one will be surprised to learn that when I finally got offered an allotment in my village three years ago, I set out to make it as bee-friendly as possible. After all, growing veg and attracting crop pollinators with nectar and pollen-rich flowers – well, it’s just a no-brainer. Read More

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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Eliza’s week of Work Experience with the Trust

by Eliza S.
Work Experience Student for 1 week in July 2019

I spent my work experience week in the Bumblebee Conservation Trust office in Eastleigh. I had a brilliant time discovering more about bumblebees, the trust and the different jobs in conservation. It has been a wonderful opportunity for me and a week well-spent.

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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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