The Bumblebee Conservation Trust Report

June 17, 2015 at 8:43 am (Uncategorized)

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust are regularly surveying the Robin Hood Garden and here’s what they found last month:

Hi Katherine,

Thanks for your patience, here’s what I found…

1 BUFF-TAILED QUEEN,
23 BUFF/WHITE-TAILED WORKERS (the workers of these 2 types are very difficult to tell apart so we put them together for ease of counting)
1 EARLY WORKER
3 EARLY MALES
3 TREE WORKERS
2 COMMON CARDER WORKERS
26 HONEY BEES

http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/identification/
:see this link to find out what they look like so you can see which ones they are!

They were really loving the Comfrey and I recall from my previous walk that the blossoming trees you have were very popular. Your garden is great habitat for them as there is not only a good source of food, but also great nesting and hibernating spaces for them too. Compost heaps (if undisturbed) are great for both purposes, as are the ‘untidy-left alone’ edges of your garden. These habitats are regularly lost to ‘tidy’ gardening or larger scale farming and so are very valuable to our Bumblebees. If you are ever lucky enough to find a nest don’t worry! They are averagely small (50-200 bumblebees) and really won’t pose a threat. They can be moved if needs be(we can do it)-I do understand yours is a community garden involving lots of interaction with children. However, the nest will die out after the summer and can be disposed of if necessary…

To encourage more bumblebees I’d recommend a few things:

-Plant Sunflowers and Cornflowers ( I think there’s still time?!?), not only are these a good source of food for bumblebees in the later summer months, but they then double up as great food for birds, as they love the seeds they produce.
-If you plant Rocket, or Brassicas of any type, try to let a few (all!) go to flower- the bees love them.
-Varieties of Lamium- these flowering Nettles are particularly popular with Common Carder Bumblebees
-Mint, lemon mint, Basil, Marjoram, Thyme and Rosemary in flower are marvellous for the bumblebees. Rosemary in particular is perfect for food at the early part of the year-needed for Queens emerging from hibernation.
-If you can make a special wild flower area, please include your Cornflowers…also Poppies,Foxgloves,Clovers,Birds foot trefoil,Cosmos etc.

More advice on what to plant can be found on the Trusts website
http://bumblebeeconservation.org/

I hope that’s of some interest, please feel free to put any of it on your blog and re-word as you see fit. If you do, I really appreciate a link to it!

I’ll be continuing my monthly survey until October, I usually do it towards the end of the month. Hopefully I’ll bump into you again.

Kind regards,
Jinny Seals

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