Bumblebee conservation

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Bumblebee Conservation Trust

The bumblebee conservation trust is a registered charity in England, Wales and Scotland and is also a science led organisation. This mean that all of their work and mission statements are directly involved in the most recent scientific research and information.

The trust is currently working towards four main aims:

  • Enhance the understanding of bumblebee ecology and conservation.
  • Increase the quality and quantity of bumblebee habitat.
  • Inspire and enable a diverse range of people to take action for bumblebees.
  • Be and effective and sustainable organisation.

One of their latests projects is ‘Making a buzz for the coast’. This exciting project spans 135 miles of Kents coastline from Dartford to Deal and focuses on restoring and creating habitat for Kent’s wild bees, especially the Shrill carder bee. One of the primary aims of Making a Buzz for the Coast will be to safeguard rare bee populations by creating and restoring habitat and linking isolated populations together through the creation of flower-rich ‘steppingstones’ and habitat along the coast. Habitat and bee surveys will be an essential part of the project to help build better data, evaluate activities, and monitor bee populations around the coast.

The trust also leads the UK’s only standardised abundance-based survey of a major pollinator group which is their ‘Bee Walks’. This means that many sites are monitored on a monthly basis through the flight season. These walks run for one or two hours during the months of March to October observing and counting any bumblebees that are seen. Flower visitation data is also collected at a subset of these transects. The data from BeeWalk is used to produce an annual assessment of how well the British bumblebees are doing (the BeeWalk Annual Report), as well as informing a range of scientific papers.

Other projects include-

  • Pollinating the peak
  • Saving the great yellow bumblebee
  • Shrill career bee project
  • Short haired bumblebee reintroduction project
  • West Country buzz
  • Fowey valley bumble project

The UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world and the bees decline is no surprise. Bees play a vital role in pollination and the pollination of our crops. The pollinating services of bumblebees and honeybees are worth £690 million each year to the uk economy.

Sadly, in the country we are seeing widespread decline of many species of our bees while we have have caused the extinction of others.

  • Shrill carder bee (Bombus sylvarum)-endangered
  • Great yellow bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus) –endangered, extinct in certain regions
  • Potter flower bee (Anthophors plumipes)- endangered, extinct in certain regions
  • Six-banded nomad bee (Nomada sexfasciata)- endangered, extinct in certain regions
  • Perkins mining bee (Andrena rose)- endangered, extinct in certain regions

To find out more about The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and the work they do visit their website.