Bumblebee Conservation Trust
Congratulations to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, based at the University of Stirling, which has just been named the UK’s best environment project at the National Lottery Awards 2010. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust works to raise awareness of the problems bumblebees face, and to prevent further declines. In the last 70 years, two species of bumblebee have become extinct in the UK and several others have declining populations. Of the 24 bumblebee species in the UK, only six species remain relatively common.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust was founded in 2006, and since has been working with the UK public, farmers, and land managers to preserve bumblebee populations.
Bumblebees are important because they pollinate our crops and wildflowers. As wildflowers across the UK have become rarer, due to habitat loss and pesticides use, bumblebees have been losing out. Hope rests partly on people with gardens and land, who can grow nectar-rich traditional cottage garden flowers and native wildflowers. The Trust suggests that anywhere in the UK someone should be able to attract at least 6 bumblebee species and possibly as many as 10, to their garden. There’s a list of bumblebee friendly flowers on the website.
The Trust is also asking people to notice and take a digital photograph of any unusual species you see, and upload them to the Trust’s website.
Let’s all work together to save the bumblebees – our flowers and fruit need them.