Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Death in the organic lavender bed at Ryton Gardens The Bee Festival, part of the Blooms for Bees campaign, which I attended this weekend was, for me, a resounding success. It was great to be surrounded by people that liked and were engaged in wild bees. I had scores of people asking me questions about […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Flint and District Beekeepers Presentation I enjoy giving presentations to honeybee keepers. Many of them are keen ‘experts’ in honeybees and very knowledgeable about them. Its rather nice when they ask me to tell them about garden bumblebees or solitary bees. I loosely class my self as a wild beekeeper! So its nice to exchange […]

Help the Soil Association to achieve a total ban of neonicotinoids. The new DDT? Something unthinkable is happening. Neonicotinoids are still contaminating our countryside, and poisoning our wildlife. A new study from Sussex University, part-funded by the Soil Association, confirms the impact of neonicotinoids or ‘neonics’ may be far worse than we thought. Neonics are toxic […]

Predatory bird kills bumblebee queen After months of hibernating the bumblebee queen eagerly sets out to feed up and start her colony. It’s her life’s quest. Likewise, a predatory bird, probably a Great tit or even a robin, itself getting into breeding condition, sees her as an opportunistic meal.  That’s nature! Her sting and whole insides […]