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.

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

Bumblebees of the World… (Recap)

by Darryl Cox, Senior Science & Policy Officer

In 2019, we did a whistle-stop tour of some of the most interesting bumblebee species from around the world, from species nesting in the Amazonian basin, to a newly discovered species in the Arctic Circle, it has been a fascinating educational journey. We are very grateful to all of our guest authors from around the world for their insightful contributions.

If you missed any of the articles you can catch up via the links below: Read More

Bumblebees of the World Blog Series… #12 Bombus kluanensis

by Paul Williams, researcher at the Natural History Museum, London, and Darryl Cox, Senior Science & Policy Officer.

Our Bumblebees of the World journey ends in the Arctic Circle with one of the newest described bumblebee species to science, Bombus kluanensis, named after the Kluane Lake in the Yukon region of Canada.

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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… #11 Bombus veteranus

by John Smit, researcher at European Invertebrate Survey – the Netherlands / Naturalis Biodiversity Center, the Netherlands.

This month guest author, John Smit, discusses the conservation of the Sand-coloured carder bee (Bombus veteranus) in the Netherlands, a species which has experienced widespread declines across the country.

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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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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

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