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New book hopes to help save the UK’s bumblebees

A new book hopes to raise public awareness of the plight of the bumblebees, a group of beneficial insects which have suffered huge declines through both historic and ongoing large-scale changes to the way the countryside is managed.

There are more than 250 species of bee in Britain: 24 different bumblebee species, 1 honeybee, and around 225 solitary bee species. Two bumblebee species went extinct in the UK during the 20th century, with a further eight currently endangered. Current research* by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) has identified that numbers are continuing to fall.

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Neonicotinoids: risks to bees confirmed by EFSA

Most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides represent a risk to wild bees and honeybees, according to assessments published today by EFSA. The Authority has updated its risk assessments of three neonicotinoids – clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam – that are currently subject to restrictions in the EU because of the threat they pose to bees.

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Funding success offers hope for one of Britain’s rarest bumblebees

Bumblebee Conservation Trust has been awarded £720,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an ambitious initiative to transform the Peak District and Derbyshire into a haven for bumblebees and wild pollinators and to protect the area’s Bilberry bumblebee – one of Britain’s rarest bumblebees.

Thanks to this support made possible by National Lottery players, the conservation charity can now formally begin its three-year Pollinating the Peak project – tackling bumblebee declines with its partners Chatsworth, Chesterfield Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Little Green Space, Moors for the Future Partnership, National Trust and Peak District National Park.

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Back from the Brink off to a tree-mendous start

November 15 sees the official launch of one of one the most ambitious conservation programmes in England – Back from the Brink.

Project partners, volunteers and other distinguished guests are coming together in Windsor to celebrate the launch of the programme, which aims to bring 20 species back from the brink of extinction. The project has been made possible thanks to £4.6m National Lottery funding, awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

This is the first nationwide coordinated effort to bring a wide range of leading charities and conservation bodies together to save threatened species. Read More

Voting urged to help save Scotland’s Great yellow bumblebee

An ambitious project in the Outer Hebrides to save the Great yellow bumblebee – which some experts believe is the UK’s most endangered bumblebee – is to be launched if the Bumblebee Conservation Trust wins an online vote.

The charity’s ‘Help find our bumblebees. Where’s Bombus?’ project needs votes to be entered into the finals of the Aviva Community Fund, where it could potentially win £25,000. Voting is open to anyone and runs to 21 November 2017. Votes can be cast at Aviva Community Fund.

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BBCT response to DEFRA position on neonicotinoid pesticides – 9 November 2017

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust welcomes DEFRA Secretary of State Michael Gove’s statement that the UK Government will support the European Commission’s proposal to both keep the current ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on flowering crops, and to extend these restrictions to non-flowering crops, including after the UK’s exit from the EU.  Read More

The Aviva Community Fund is open for voting!

Aviva Community Fund icon

With your help and support last year, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust was successful in securing £25,000 for our Pollinating the Peak project in Derbyshire from the Aviva Community Fund.

This year we have submitted another project: Help find our bumblebees. Where’s Bombus? so we can expand our work of saving Scotland’s bumblebees.

It’s a project about raising awareness and training local people in the Outer Hebrides to look for and record our bumblebees, in particular the Great yellow bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus).

To get through to the next round we need members of the public to vote. Read More

Making a Buzz thanks to the National Lottery

We are delighted to announce we have been awarded £965,300 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to launch our Making a Buzz for the Coast project, which has been in its development stage. Thanks to National Lottery players who raised the money, we have been awarded a total of £1,077,900 (including development phase funding)! The project aims to secure the future of Kent’s bumblebees and other pollinating insects spanning 135 miles of Kent’s coastline from Dartford to Deal, starting in October 2017 until September 2020.

Making a Buzz for the Coast is an ambitious natural heritage project, which has been developed in partnership with several organisations, including Kent Wildlife Trust, Natural England, the RSPB and Kent County Council. Focusing on Kent’s wild pollinator populations, especially bumblebees and solitary bees, the aim of the Trust is to mobilise people in Kent to take action to protect these important pollinators.

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New Pollinator Strategy for Scotland Published

The Scottish Government has published a 10 year strategy plan to reverse the decline of pollinating insects. The plan which was created by Scottish Natural Heritage, with the help of key environmental organisations, including Bumblebee Conservation Trust, sets out five essential objectives to address the causes of decline in pollinating insects and ensure that they are able to thrive in the future.

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Pan-European study on neonicotinoids finds negative effects in bees under realistic conditions

Researchers from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) have published the results of their long-awaited, pan-European field study examining how real-world exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides affects bees. This important experiment, conducted in the UK, Germany and Hungary, supports the results of earlier, smaller-scale experiments which found neonicotinoids to be harmful to bees, especially wild bees. The study found negative effects in domestic Honeybees (Apis mellifera) in the UK and Hungary, while the most damning effects were found in the reproductive capabilities of Buff-tail bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and Red Mason bees (Osmia bicornis) across all three countries.

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