The helpful little bumblebees are in trouble; Several European countries have documented declines in their bumble bee populations with some species dwindling to extinction and for those living North America your bumblebees aren’t far behind!
Some of the known threats to bumble bee populations include climate change, invasive species, habitat destruction, pollution, use of pesticides & fungal infections.
A short video clip about how bumblebees fly.
I think its great and worth a look.
Bumble bee facts:
Scientific name: BombusSize: Up to 25mm.
Distribution: predominately found throughout the U.K, Europe, North America & Asia.
Months seen: February to October.
Life Span: Approximately 9 to 12 months.
Habitat: Meadows, parks, gardens, orchards and farmland. Bumblebees often nest in the ground, but can be found in patio areas or decks. They will sometimes build their nests in attics or under roof beams.
Food: Worker bees gather both pollen and nectar from flowers to feed to the larvae and other members of the colony.
Carpenter bee - Cyprus
What you can do to help the bumblebees
- Use more traditional native plants, like bluebells, Rosemary, Geraniums & honeysuckle. Bumble bees also like blue and purple scented flowers such as lavenders and lupins. Plant in large groups or patches of the same kind, so that the bees have good foraging sites. Bumblebees tend to like to stick to one type of flower while foraging, and can waste energy scouting around for more forage .
- Plant or preserve a mixed native hedge, composed of shrubs and trees, wild flowers and climbers (once established) .
- Turn your lawn into a wildflower garden, wildflower seed mixes are available, but choose carefully and pick seed mixes that contain native perennials that suit your region.
- Do not use pesticides or chemicals in your garden.
- Even if you like to keep a neat and tidy garden, please try leave an area undisturbed and plant with native wild flowers
- If your going to buy honey, or bee products make sure you buy local. Some larger organastions are lead more by profit than by the health of bees.
Every little thing you can do to help them in your garden, will be much appreciated by all, including the bumblebees.
Find some more update interesting information on Bumblebee conservation http://www.bumblebeeconservation.org.uk
This link has information including species group and biographic regions.
Bumblebees play a vital part in our life and we are gradually destroying them, creating a imbalance in our Eco-system.
"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man,"
~ Albert Einstein