Sunday, 28 April 2013

Bumble Bees

This afternoon we went Bee Walking as we do every month between March and October to survey an area for the number of Bumble Bees there.
We are really lucky to do our walking in one of Gwent Wildlife Trusts beautiful reserves, which come the middle of the summer is thigh high with wildflowers, so normally finding bees is not an issue, but the very slow start to Spring means that there just aren't many of our stripy furry friends about yet.  On our March walk we saw no bees at all and today despite there being far more foliage and blossom we saw only 3 queens, probably searching for a place to set up home for the summer.
Coupled with concerns about pesticides - in particular the recent publicity around neonicotinoid pesticides ( see here for info about the EU vote in Brussels tomorrow: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/historic-vote-to-ban-neonicotinoid-pesticides-blamed-for-huge-decline-in-bees-8591807.html), you could be forgiven for thinking that we are heading for a summer of Bumble Bee crisis. In his blog on the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust website,
http://bumblebeeconservation.org/news/anthonys-blog/how-are-bumblebees-coping-with-the-cold-uk-spring Anthony McCluskey sounds a positive note suggesting that the Queen Bumbles are instead just continuing to hibernate waiting for the right conditions to present themselves. Lets hope so - we really need our bees!







4 comments:

  1. Found your blog this afternoon. I enjoyed my visit and share your concern about the Bumble Bees. I hope the world wakes up to the problems we are facing before it get too late. Here on the shores of Lake Michigan in USA - so far no problem. Time will tell.

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    1. Wonderful to hear that you don't seem to have the decline in bees that we have here. Our main problem where I live I think is the successive very cold wet summers we seem to be having - Bumbles don't like wind and rain.

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  2. It is good to see more people talking about this Bee issue.
    I am sure much more needs to be done bringing what might easily turn into a Bee disaster onto the gardening public radar.

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  3. I think it does Andrew,where we live if bees can't survive here they can't survive anywhere and at present we seem very short of them. I am hoping that the Wisteria blooming will bring more bees to the garden now.

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