Bumblebees and their ecology

Are honeybees, bumblebees and solitary bees safe from the Asian Hornet? The Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina, or yellow legged hornet, is the first invasive predator of honeybees and has now arrived in the UK. It is known to have caused serious problems for European honeybees Apis mellifera. Hives provide a large food resource, concentrated in a small area. As […]

Have bees affected our lives? On a very simplistic level, most of us know that bees provide us with fruit, honey and in the case of bumblebees, the sound of summer, with their buzzing as they busily brighten our blooms. We have formed an unequal partnership with bees for many 100s years. Typically it has, in the main, […]

Neonicotinoids, a new inadvertent contraceptive for bees? Not only may neonicotinoids be the new DDT, researchers have already found that neonicotinoids can reduce bumblebee queen reproduction by 85%! And now the latest research (see below) shows that neonicotinoids can reduce honeybee drone (male) sperm viability by 39% and reduce their lifespan. How much longer can our bees and other […]

Bee Festival Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st July 2016 With all these free activities and lectures, at Ryton Organic Gardens, if you do manage to get a minute, come and meet me at my stall with my Nurturing Nature award winning bee boxes!! Activities Free talks, walks and plants Free entry to Ryton Organic Gardens […]

Six queens persuaded to nest 2016…. not all were successful I derive great pleasure in attracting queen bumblebees to nest in my wildlife garden. Its a part of spring/summer for me! This year I persuaded 6 to start nesting. I had two successful nest boxes. By successful I mean when I attract a queen to nest, she […]

Kew Gardens take possession of award winning wild bee nest boxes Nurturing Nature Bumblebee nest boxes formed part of the huge and impressive “Hive”  as well as being used elsewhere at Kew for bumblebee research by Dr. Hauke Koch ” The bumblebee boxes worked well although the wet weather did not help the bumblebees!” “The solitary […]

The Gladiator bumblebee, Bombus vestalis, is a cuckoo bumblebee Yes we have all heard of cuckoo birds. Cuckoos and their rather anti social behaviour are known to many people. But did you know there are species of bees and wasps that are also cuckoos? Queen bumblebees emerging after hibernation may have to fight to the death […]

Garden Bumblebee Nest. Information from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust I have had many bumblebee nests in my wildlife garden sharing it with my family and dogs. Personally I showed my own children where the nests were to be found in the garden. Similarly on allotment sites where I taught children. We watched them together busy […]

Pesticides and Bees:Keeping Bees Safe In Our Gardens Research Project  Prof. Dave Goulson and Walacea (Back science you believe in) have joined forces to help you to help bees and buy truly bee friendly flowers. To get some background information read my article, ‘How friendly are bee ‘friendly’ plants from garden centres?‘ Read on to enter competition. […]

Effectively castrated by the nematode Sphaerularia bombi, these queen bumblebees cannot nest The queen becomes a surrogate mother for the nematode worms When hibernating in the soil, the fertilised female nematode, Sphaerularia bombi, which only infects bumblebee queens, enters the body of the queen bumblebee and lays her eggs inside her. When the queen emerges in […]