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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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Campaigns to change wildlife legislation in the UK

Wildlife charities across the UK are fighting to protect native species from the bumblebee to hedgehogs. Many charities & organisations are seeking to protect them by law. Law Absolute takes a look at recent campaigns to change UK wildlife legislation here.

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Twenty Species brought ‘Back from the Brink’ thanks to the National Lottery

Back from the Brink is an innovative project to save our rarest and most threatened wildlife such as the chequered skipper butterfly, ladybird spider and the Shrill carder bee. Led by Natural England, the project involves Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife, RSPB and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. It’s the first time so many conservation organisations have joined together to tackle species extinction.

This major conservation project of its kind, with 20 UK species facing extinction, will be brought Back from the Brink thanks to an overwhelming £4.6 million funding from the National Lottery. The funding will also support a further 200 species of threatened animals, plants and fungi across sites in the UK.

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Aviva Community Fund Winner!

We are delighted to announce that we have been chosen as a winner of the #Avivacommunityfund! The Aviva Community Fund offers the chance to get funding for an important cause in your community.

The voting commenced in November last year, for one month and we received the most incredible support from everyone; surpassing our target with over 13k votes!

We have been awarded an incredible £25,000 for our Pollinating the Peak project. Pollinating the Peak is a fun, innovative project with education and community engagement at its core. One of its aims is to increase our understanding of Bilberry bumblebee populations as this is an under-recorded bumblebee and is listed as a Peak District National Park priority species.

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The Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s reaction to the EU referendum results – ‘Business as usual’

On 23 June, the UK’s population voted to leave the European Union.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust believes that working together on common policies across the Member States is essential to ensure nature thrives and cross border co-operation continues, as we fulfil our vision of providing flower-rich habitats and raising awareness of the importance the bumblebee has on our economy here and the EU. Our conservation and data collection is funded by our members and supporters almost entirely from UK sources.

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Hairy-footed flower bee spotted north of the border

Bumblebee Conservation Trust member, Ken East from Edinburgh, has spotted a Hairy-footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes) in his garden – the first sighting of this species in Scotland since 2013, and probably the most northerly record of this bee to date. Ken found the bee in his greenhouse before safely releasing her outside again, but not before taking a few photographs of his new visitor, of course.

Female Hairy-footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes), photos taken by Ken East, April 2016.

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Managed Bees Spread and Intensify Diseases in Wild Bees

UC Riverside-led research shows wild bees are harmed even when managed bees are disease-free.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – For various reasons, wild pollinators are in decline across many parts of the world. To combat this, managed honey bees and bumblebees are frequently shipped in to provide valuable pollination services to crops. But does this practice pose any risk to the wild bees?

An entomologist at the University of California, Riverside has examined the evidence by analyzing the large body of research done in this area to come to the conclusion that managed bees are spreading diseases to wild bees.

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Threat posed by ‘pollen thief’ bees uncovered

A new University of Stirling study has uncovered the secrets of ‘pollen thief’ bees – which take pollen from flowers but fail to act as effective pollinators – and the threat they pose to certain plant species.

Flowers often need pollinators, such as bees, to collect and transport pollen to fertilise other flowers and trigger fruit and seed production. In order to attract pollinators, flowers offer resources such as nectar, oils, and pollen in return.

However some bees act as thieves by taking the pollen – a vital protein source for young bees – without providing pollination services.

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