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.
Botanic Garden of Wales – “We use our DNA barcoding expertise and extensive horticultural resource to research the floral preferences of both honey bees and wild pollinators …”
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…..”
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…..”
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…”
Buglife are pleased to report the discovery of the Carrot Mining Bee (Andrena nitidiuscula) in Wales for the very first time! Buglife Cymru staff undertaking bee surveys as part of the ‘Searching for Scabious’ project made the discovery during a recent visit to Lavernock Point Nature Reserve – a Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) reserve in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales.
Read more …
A BBC web site report …
A “nationally scarce” species of bee has been found in Newport for the first time, conservationists say.
Buglife Cymru said it discovered a “strong population” of small scabious mining bees at St Julian’s Park local nature reserve last week. It said it marked the first time the species had been found in the city or the surrounding area. Conservation officer Liam Olds said: “To discover a new population of this rare bee in Newport is very exciting. ….
Bee Friendly Monmouthshire has produced a video featuring a small garden in Monmouthshire where wildlife friendly habitat has resulted in presence of a high number of bee and wasp species.
A Guardian newspaper report:-
“A lack of bees in agricultural areas is limiting the supply of some food crops, a new US-based study has found, suggesting that declines in the pollinators may have serious ramifications for global food security.
Species of wild bees, such as bumblebees, are suffering from a loss of flowering habitat, the use of toxic pesticides and, increasingly, the climate crisis. Managed honeybees, meanwhile, are tended to by beekeepers, but have still been assailed by disease, leading to concerns that the three-quarters of the world’s food crops dependent upon pollinators could falter due to a lack of bees.
Of seven studied crops grown in 13 states across America, five showed evidence that a lack of bees is hampering the amount of food that can be grown, including apples, blueberries and cherries. A total of 131 crop fields were surveyed for bee activity and crop abundance by a coalition of scientists from the US, Canada and Sweden. …. ”
Read more :-
New Scientist report:- “Hungry bumblebees can coax plants into flowering and making pollen up to a month earlier than usual by punching holes in their leaves.
Bees normally come out of hibernation in early spring to feast on the pollen of newly blooming flowers. However, they sometimes emerge too early and find that plants are still flowerless and devoid of pollen, which means the bees starve.
Fortunately, bumblebees have a trick up their sleeves for when this happens. Consuelo De Moraes at ETH Zurich in Switzerland and her colleagues discovered that worker bumblebees can make plants flower earlier than normal by using their mouthparts to pierce small holes in leaves.”