Honeybees tend to be the ‘poster girls’ for the threats faced by our insect pollinators but it’s our wild bees – and in particular our Bumblebees – that are actually under threat. Only eight of our twenty-four species are widespread; we have lost two species completely and an additional nine are threatened with extinction. Bumblebees face a perfect storm of problems – habitat loss, pesticides, climate change – but also competition from honeybees. As well as looking at some of the history of Bumblebees (do you know why they are called ‘bumblebees’?) and how they differ from other bees we look at practical steps we can all take to protect these fascinating creatures.
Peter Smith is a beekeeper and amateur entomologist with ten years’ experience of keeping bees and producing honey. In this time he has learned a lot about, and developed a passion for, these wonderful creatures and all the other pollinators that we share our gardens with. He writes a column on beekeeping in BeeCraft magazine. He has also been recording moths for twelve years and in that time has recorded over 400 species in his back garden. He works closely with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and is currently mapping bumblebee populations on the North Downs.
Organised in aid of Painshill Park Trust Limited, registered charity in England and Wales (284944). We rely on fundraising to preserve and maintain Painshill for future generations so your support is very important to us.