Monmouth Bee Festival

Monmouth Bee Festival is a family friendly event which takes place at the Nelson Garden in the centre of Monmouth on Sunday 1st Aug 10.00am to 4.00pm.

The Festival includes activities for adults and children, stall holders offering bee derived products, craft stalls, plant sales, key local environmental group displays, and pizza and ice cream!

Monmouth Bee Festival 2021 aims to raise awareness of our work in Uganda which due to recent cuts in the UK government and charity funding for overseas aids is facing a critical moment. We are supporting people with disabilities to access specially adapted training, advice and mentoring so they too can have an equal opportunity to benefit from beekeeping in Uganda

See details:- http://beefestival.beesfordevelopment.org/

Buglife “B-Lines”

The B-Lines are a series of ‘insect pathways’ running through our countryside and towns, along which we are restoring and creating a series of wildflower-rich habitat stepping stones. They link existing wildlife areas together, creating a network, like a railway, that will weave across the British landscape. This will provide large areas of brand new habitat benefiting bees and butterflies– but also a host of other wildlife.

https://www.buglife.org.uk/our-work/b-lines/

Surveying

We need more data on bees and other insects :-

Bumblebee Conservation Trust
https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/surveys/
An overview of survey opportunities.

BeeWalk
https://www.beewalk.org.uk/
Count bumblebees seen once a month on a 2km walk.

UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS).
https://www.ceh.ac.uk/our-science/projects/pollinator-monitoring
Count the number of insects visiting a patch of flowers for 10 minutes.
Flower-Insect Timed Count (FIT Count).

iRecord
https://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/enter-casual-record
Record seeing a single species.

iSpot
https://www.ispotnature.org/
Get help identifing a single species.

SEWBReC South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre
http://www.sewbrec.org.uk/
Enter records of species seen in South East Wales.

Wales Biodiversity Partnership
https://www.biodiversitywales.org.uk/Monitoring

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‘Bee-killing’ pesticide now will not be used on UK sugar beet fields

A Guardian newspaper article:-

“A pesticide which reduces bee populations and was to be used in England’s sugar beet fields this year will not be used after recent cold weather killed off virus-transmitting aphids…..”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/03/bee-killing-pesticide-now-will-not-be-used-on-uk-sugar-beet-fields?fbclid=IwAR0tOvOeuetwoExDrEe8efFQqw-w9FwusIG73Kt-SW6vV7sHQ6cxnQM1jZM

Bee Species Down by 25% since 1990

The Guardian newspaper says:-

“The number of wild bee species recorded by an international database of life on Earth has declined by a quarter since 1990, according to a global analysis of bee declines. They found a steep decline in bee species being recorded since 1990, with approximately 25% fewer species reported between 2006 and 2015 than before the 1990s…..”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/22/quarter-of-known-bee-species-have-not-been-recorded-since-1990

https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(20)30651-5

Plantlife – Road Verge Campaign Success

Plantlife – “With many mowers kept away during the Spring lockdown, lots of road verges were allowed the chance to burst into flower. This delightful show of the botanical potential of verges on our doorsteps inspired and encouraged many more people to lobby your councils to change verge management regimes for the better… “

https://plantlife.love-wildflowers.org.uk/roadvergecampaign

“Honeybees can calculate probability…”

New Scientist article 2nd Sept 2020 :- “Honeybees can calculate probability, but it seems they don’t use it the same way we tend to… ” Bees “… matched the proportion of visits with the probability of getting sweet water, so for flowers with 66 per cent odds of sugar, they visited them roughly two-thirds of the time. This is known as probability matching…”

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2253394-honeybees-are-able-to-calculate-probability-and-use-it-to-find-food/

‘Reversing the decline of insects’

The Wildlife Trusts have published a new report ‘Reversing the decline of insects’ which shows how people, in every part of society, wherever they live, can take action to bring back insects. Everyone, everywhere, is being asked to become an insect champion.

The report cites examples of farmers, communities, councils and charities that are boosting insect populations and proving that it can be done.

The report comes at a critical time for insects. There is ongoing evidence for insect declines and the future of insects – and all life that depends on them – hangs in the balance as trade deals threaten to increase the use of insect-harming pesticides. Furthermore, the Agriculture Bill is progressing through Parliament presenting a unique opportunity to ensure farmers pursue insect-friendly farming methods.

The publication follows the ‘Insect declines and why they matter’ report, launched last year, which examined mounting evidence that insect populations are close to collapse and concluded that “the consequences are clear; if insect declines are not halted, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems will collapse, with profound consequences for human wellbeing.”

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/news/new-report-calls-ambitious-pesticide-reduction-target