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.

Brown-banded carder and Moss carder bees in North Devon

by Patrick Saunders

Patrick Saunders (Kernow Ecology) conducted a field survey commissioned by BBCT’s West Country Buzz Project in summer 2018. This was to assess the current status and conservation requirements of Brown-banded Carder bee and Moss Carder bee in North Devon, in partnership with other West Country Buzz project surveys.

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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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Farmer Cluster Conference November 2018, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust

Conservation Officers Cathy Horsley and Daisy Headley attended the second Farmer Cluster conference, which was held in Birmingham and attended by 250 farmers, advisors, and representatives from the conservation sector. Farmer Clusters are groups of neighbouring farmers working together to encourage wildlife on their farms, helping to join up habitats across the landscape. The ideas are farmer-led, and are co-ordinated by a facilitator. There are now 100 Farmer Clusters in England, and are aided by Natural England’s Facilitation Fund.

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An overview of Back from the Brink’s Shrill carder bee project in 2018

Moving into the cooler days of Autumn and pulling on the layers it’s hard to believe that only a few months ago it was too hot to survey. So what’s been going on with our little Shrill Carder Bee over one of the hottest summers on record?

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A summer with bees

This guest blog post has been written by Ron Rock, the Trust’s newest Local Volunteer Coordinator, whose longstanding involvement with the Trust has been invaluable. Ron discusses his summer experience with bees and the Trust, offering an interesting personal perspective on his work as a volunteer.

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Can I ask a silly question…?

August 2018
by Katy Malone – BBCT Conservation Officer (Scotland)

That’s usually the way it starts… what follows is often a very interesting enquiry, asked by a beekeeper who knows a great deal about her own (honey)bees, and wants to know if bumblebees are the same or different in that particular regard.
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Evolution of a bee-friendly garden

This month’s guest blog is provided by Peter Lovett, a Trust volunteer, avid gardener, and blogger. Peter invites us into his garden to learn about the techniques he has used to encourage seven different bumblebee species to forage there.

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Bringing the buzz back into our towns and cities

This guest blog post has been written by Charlotte Rankin, one of the Trust’s volunteers. Based in Cornwall, Charlotte has been actively involved in getting the small Cornish town of Penryn buzzing! Read her story here on how small changes have made a big impact to bumblebees and the community…

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Brilliant BeeWalk!

This month’s blog comes from two of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s enthusiastic and much appreciated BeeWalkers and volunteers, Margaret and Lily Alston.

As volunteers for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, this will be the third year we have taken part in their BeeWalk monitoring scheme.

At least once a month, we equip ourselves with recording sheet, magnifying glass, comfy clothes and of course a picnic lunch, then set off on our ‘walk’. This ‘walk’ is called a ‘transect’ which is a route through the Rock Garden, starting at Bridge Street, going through the top part of the garden, on to the Nature Reserve, then back along the front of the garden, ending back where we started. It is important, as this is a scientific study, to always walk exactly the same route! We also try to go on a sunny and relatively calm day….ideal conditions for our bumblebee friends! Read More

Wildflowers for bees: a beginner’s guide to sowing wildflower seed in spring

This informative blog is written by The Grass People.

Bumblebees are iconic, charismatic and captivating insects that play a vital role in the lives of us all by pollinating our crops and many of our native wildflower species. However, since the 1930’s we have lost 97% of our flower-rich meadows – leaving bumblebee’s hungry and homeless…

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