Author Topic: Plight of the Bumblebees  (Read 16129 times)

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Offline Mermaid

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Plight of the Bumblebees
« on: May 26, 2006, 06:54:33 pm »
For all those folks that like to do their bit for the environment, both local and national, and especially as we've all got nice gardens in Brookmans Park and can help:

The 'Indie' front page today is devoted to the plight of the Bumblebee - apparently 3 UK species are now extinct - with several more in imminent danger as Britain's natural environment is being gradually degraded. This is a concern as many crops depend on Bumblebees for pollination, particularly broad beans, field and runner beans and raspberries.

But help may be at hand as the Bumblebee Conservation Trust has just been launched. They say "Bumblebees are key players in ecosystems .... if we get things right for Bumblebees, then lots of other wildlife will benefit too" and they are asking gardeners to plant an area of their gardens with wildflowers and cottage-garden flowers to help halt the decline. Amongst flowers which Bumblebees enjoy are bluebells, rosemary, geranuims and honeysuckle.

If you want to take a look at their website, it's www.bumblebeeconservationtrust.co.uk and my kids really enjoyed looking at it too.

 
 

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2006, 08:22:00 pm »
Hi Mermaid,

When I was a kid my dad taught me how to revived tired bumblebees. Sometimes we would find them lying on the ground. My dad would mix some sugar and water and soak a piece of bread in it and leave it by the bumblebee which would suck from it and then fly off. I thought it was magic at the time. Has anyone else heard of this being done and does it really help them?

David
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Offline NZer

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2006, 02:55:33 am »
I think it might be a good idea to leave a small area of the garden in a slightly wild state with a pile of leaves and other vegetation, to enable the bumble bees to make their nest. 
We recently had a big tidy up and got rid of a large pile of vegetation that had been piled up over several years.  In the process we unfortunately disturbed a bumble bee nest.  Its the first time that I had seen one of these.  It was fascinating to watch them come and go.  However, with the nest exposed, it eventually disintegrated.  I don't know much about their biology, but I think nesting is different for each species.
 

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2006, 04:29:06 pm »
I think it might be a good idea to leave a small area of the garden in a slightly wild state with a pile of leaves and other vegetation, to enable the bumble bees to make their nest. 

The bumblebees will need wellies in our garden.

 ;)

David

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2006, 05:26:12 am »
Its pretty soggy down here in New Zealand as well, at the moment - but then we aren't pretending its summer here.  ;)
 

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2006, 08:34:54 pm »

"Bumblebees are key players in ecosystems .... if we get things right for Bumblebees, then lots of other wildlife will benefit too" and they are asking gardeners to plant an area of their gardens with wildflowers and cottage-garden flowers to help halt the decline. Amongst flowers which Bumblebees enjoy are bluebells, rosemary, geranuims and honeysuckle.
 

Hi Mermaid,

We have several Cistus landanifer shrubs in our front garden and they are just coming into flower. The bumblebees (and other bees) love them. They've been landing on them all day.

It looks like a shrub worth having in terms of helping the bumblees out - they look good too. Picture below.

 :)

David

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Offline Mermaid

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2006, 10:58:22 pm »

They are really pretty! And thanks too for your earlier post on giving the bumblebees some sugar water; it reminded me that my grandmother used to let me give a little honey on a leaf to tired bumblebees in her garden.

Our rosemary bush is in flower now, as is the lavender, and we've had quite a few bees visit, but no bumblebees yet. If this weekend is as warm and dry as the forecasters have been promising, then we'll get the geraniums in and hope to see some bumblebees soon.

Nice to hear from NZer too about the bumblebee nest. I've never seen one, but we're going to try to incorporate some 'nesty' type material in the 'wild' corner of the garden (as long as the rabbits don't eat it).
 

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2006, 09:52:09 am »

Our rosemary bush is in flower now, as is the lavender, and we've had quite a few bees visit, but no bumblebees yet. If this weekend is as warm and dry as the forecasters have been promising, then we'll get the geraniums in and hope to see some bumblebees soon.


Oops, I think I was wrong, the action seems to be under that Cistus bush and on something that looks like heather (no idea what the plant is). There are about six bumblebees on it this morning. Most are small (about the size of a 1p piece), but there is one the size of a 2p piece. Here are some snaps taken about 09.45 this morning.



 :)

David
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 10:25:28 am by David Brewer »
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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2006, 08:55:06 pm »
That is really cute, what a great picture!  ;D

I've been trying to identify it by comparing your picture to the ones in the article. It looks like Bombus Pratorum, or the 'early bumblebee'. It's the first one to appear each year - in early Spring - and its very short life-cycle means that it begins hibernating again in June. It seems to be one of the few bumblebees in the UK which nests up trees rather than on the ground.
 

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2006, 09:52:22 pm »

It looks like Bombus Pratorum, or the 'early bumblebee'. It's the first one to appear each year - in early Spring - and its very short life-cycle means that it begins hibernating again in June. It seems to be one of the few bumblebees in the UK which nests up trees rather than on the ground.


Well whatever it was it was very busy. Didn't seem to mind me zooming in with my digital camera on macro - which means you get very close.  A lovely creature. I will check out whether it is around again in the morning.

By the way, I had another two on the rhododendrons flowers.

David
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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2006, 09:57:07 am »
Hi Mermaid (or anyone else interested in the plight of the bumblebee),

Can you recognise this bush? There are lots of bumblebees on ours this morning. They love it. Those concerned about the bumblebees might want to consider buying this bush for their garden. I have no idea what it is called, or why the bumblebees like it.



David
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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2006, 09:38:13 pm »
Looks like Cotoneaster to me, we have one in our garden and it's always covered in bees, both bumble and honey type. In the bee season, that is.
Confucius he say "a dog is for life not just for Christmas Dinner"
 

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2009, 11:56:52 am »
Just found a thriving bumblebee nest in a compost heap at the bottom of our garden. They seem quite happy to co-exist with me working around them. According to an article I found on the web they are not aggressive. I took this picture, but they wouldn't keep still.

 :)



« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 12:12:43 pm by David Brewer »
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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2009, 04:53:13 pm »
I've discovered why the bees (pictured above) are nesting at the bottom of our garden; they love this particular bush.

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Offline Alfred the Great

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2009, 09:40:18 pm »
Ain't that a mock orange or something like that? They do smell nice in the evenings.

Ours has died this year, don't know why.

 :(
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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2009, 09:50:34 pm »

Ours has died this year, don't know why.


Hi ATG, you can have a cutting if you want.

David
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Offline NZer

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2009, 06:28:57 am »
I believe New Zealand is busy trying to collect bumble bees to send you.  38 have been collected but they are trying for 100 before they send them over ,  They are not native to NZ but have been brought over from the UK some years ago. :)
 

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2009, 08:37:10 pm »
I believe New Zealand is busy trying to collect bumble bees to send you.  38 have been collected but they are trying for 100 before they send them over ,  They are not native to NZ but have been brought over from the UK some years ago. :)

No thanks, I've got enough, the garden is swarming with them.

 :-\
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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2009, 01:45:46 am »
Ah, but these are the short haired variety, not seen in Britain since 1988! :)  If you google bumble bees and nz there is a very recent article about them.  England is going to try breeding them up before they are released, in a special facility!
 

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2009, 08:21:00 am »
I am worried about my bees getting soggy in our compost heap. Should I drape a cover over the top?

 :-\

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2009, 10:19:38 am »
Hi all,

We recently had a swarm of bees hovering over our house.   Unfortunately they seem to have set up home in our chimney and over the weekend we have had some of them dropping into our living room. 

Does anyone have the name of a local bee keeper who might be able to help.

Thanks

Peppermint
 

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2009, 06:05:51 pm »
There's always an ad in the freebie WEB from a chap who offers to teach about bees.  I'll pm you with the 'phone number, Peppermint.

Best wishes
chickenlegs
 

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2009, 07:00:26 am »
It seems as though the bumble bees are finding the heat too much. Tried to revive a couple in our garden yesterday by moving them into the shade, but several have died on the lawn. The nest that was thriving is inactive. Sad

David
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Offline Jane B

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2009, 11:36:42 am »
David
Try the sugar & water solution next to the bees. It really works - I have happily revived a few already this year. I just leave a little 'puddle' of the solution next to them. (thats if the ants don't lap it up first!
Jane
 

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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2009, 11:49:56 am »
Yes, tried that in the past. Most of these poor fellas were crisp by the time I got to them. The one that was still moving keeled over by the spoon.

Sad
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Re: Plight of the Bumblebees
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2010, 07:39:32 am »
Nice to see that some bumblebees are growing in numbers.  According to the BBC, conservationists are saying that England's five rarest bumblebees have made a comeback in parts of Kent and Sussex.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11472104
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