We are passionate about bees, we love them!
We are so pleased we can indulge this passion by supporting The Bumblebee Conservation Trust! The Trust’s mission sums up this feeling:
Bumblebee Conservation Trust work tirelessly to help the plight of our bumblebees in the UK by:
- Managing habitats nationwide to encourage and safeguard bumblebees.
- Encouraging volunteers to help with this mission.
- Training people in bumblebee ID and participating in vital surveys.
- Educating on making gardens a sanctuary for bumblebees and encouraging more to visit.
- Encouraging communities to come together and create green spaces for bumblebees.
- Vitally, they work with schools to encourage more young people to study science – entomology and ecology knowledge is essential for helping secure the future of bumblebees.
- They also have a number of projects on the go at any one time, such as the Shrill Carder Bee recovery project, saving the Great Yellow Bumblebee, and restoring and creating habitat along Kent’s coast for wild bees.
The Short-haired Bumblebee Reintroduction Project
Another of their projects, I have been proudly involved in, albeit to a small degree (taking part in releasing the bees) – The Short-haired Bumblebee Reintroduction Project, which aims to reintroduce this lost species to the UK, raise awareness of bumblebee and flower meadow declines, increase resident rare bumblebee populations, and recreate and give advice on managing and maintaining flower rich areas. The Project has been running since 2009 and is working with farmers, conservation groups, small holders and other land owners to create flower-rich habitat within the release area of Dungeness and Romney Marsh in Kent and East Sussex.
We also supply the Short-haired Bumblebee Project with seed packets for them to sell on at fairs and events, encouraging people to plant bee-friendly wildflowers. The most recent involvement with Bumblebee Conservation at our end has been taking in part in one of their regular bee counts in Romney Marsh:
A Few Bumblebee Facts
- Two bumblebees have gone extinct in the last century and two bumblebees are at risk of extinction.
- Cuckoo bumblebees operate like the Cuckoo bird – laying their eggs in a host social bumblebee nest – after having first stung the resident queen to death.
- Bumblebees are within 40 minutes of starvation – they have extremely fast metabolisms and so have to eat almost continuously. A full stomach will give a bumblebee about 45 minutes of flying time.
- Bumblebee colonies only last a few months and the new queen, once mated, will go into hibernation over the winter.
- The UK lost 97% of its wildflower meadows after World War II and this set the scene for the decline of wild bumblebees.
- Bumblebees don’t die when they sting.
Bumblebees Need Our Help!
Help the Bumblebee Conservation Trust by becoming a member, buying our seed packet favours dedicated to them whereby a donation is made for every packet sold, or simply volunteering to help. I could go on for hours enthusing about their work and about bumblebees, but please do visit their website for more information about the Trust and to find out everything you could possibly want to know about bees!