Bumble Bee Conservation

June 21, 2015 whitbyholidaypark
BUMBLE BEES



BUMBLEBEES

BUMBLE BEES ARE ENDEARING AND FAMILIAR INSECTS. SADLY OUR BUMBLE BEES HAVE BEEN DECLINING BECAUSE OF CHANGES IN AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES, WHERE FLOWERS HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE LANDSCAPE, LEAVING THE BUMBLE BEES LITTLE FOOD TO LIVE ON.

THERE ARE 250 SPECIES IN THE WORLD. MOST ARE FOUND IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE. BRITAIN HAS 24 SPECIES BUT ONLY 8 ARE COMMONLY FOUND IN MOST AREAS. 2 SPECIES HAVE NOW BECOME EXTINCT IN THE UK. OVER THE LAST 80 YEARS THE BUMBLE BEE POPULATION HAS DECLINED DRAMATICALLY. THE REASON FOR THIS IS SIMPLE: THERE ARE FAR FEWER FLOWERS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE TO PROVIDE BEES WITH POLLEN AND NECTAR THAT THEY NEED TO SURVIVE.

LIFE CYCLE OF THE BUMBLE BEE

BUMBLE BEES ARE SOCIAL INSECTS AND LIVE IN NESTS OF UP TO 400 INDIVIDUALS. EACH NEST IS RULED BY A QUEEN AND LASTS FOR JUST 1 YEAR.

IN EARLY SPRING THE QUEEN EMERGES FROM HIBERNATION TO START HER NEW NEST.
1) HER FIRST TASK IS TO BUILD UP HER ENERGY RESERVES SO IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT THAT SHE CAN FIND PLENTY OF POLLEN AND NECTAR-RICH FLOWERS.
2) ONCE SHE HAS FOUND A SUITABLE NEST SITE SHE WILL REAR HER FIRST BATCH OF EGGS.
3) A GROUP OF FEMALE WORKERS WHOSE JOB IT WILL BE TO FEES AND NURTURE THE COLONY TAKE OVER.
4) THIS PROCESS IS REPEATED THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER WITH THE QUEEN RARELY LEAVING THE NEST. TOWARDS THE END OF THE SUMMER THE QUEEN PRODUCES MALE OFFSPRING, ALONG WITH NEW QUEENS.
5) AFTER MATING THE MALES DIE OFF, AS DO THE OLD QUEENS AND WORKERS. ONLY THE NEW, FERTILISED QUEENS SURVIVE TO HIBERNATE THROUGH THE WINTER AND ESTABLISH THEIR OWN NESTS THE FOLLOWING YEAR.

BUZZ POLLINATION

BUMBLE BEES ARE THE ONLY INSECT CAPABLE OF BUZZ POLLINATION. THIS OCCURS WHEN THE BEE GRABS THE FLOWER AND PRODUCES A HIGH-PITCHED BUZZ. THIS RELEASES POLLEN THAT WOULD OTHERWISE STAY TRAPPED INSIDE. TOMATOES ARE POLLINATED IN THIS WAY.




HOW CAN YOU HELP INCREASE THE BUMBLE BEE POPULATION?

THE BEST AND MOST SIMPLEST WAY TO HELP THE BEES IS TO PLANT BEE FRIENDLY FLOWERS. THESE CONSIST OF FLOWERS SUCH AS FOXGLOVES, LAVENDER, GERANIUMS, HERBS AND WILD ROSES.

HERE AT WHITBY HOLIDAY PARK WE DO OUR BIT TO HELP ALL WILDLIFE THRIVE AND WE HOPE THAT YOU CAN TAKE THE TIME TO HELP CONSERVE THE BUMBLE BEE POPULATION TOO.

CLAIRE
RECEPTION

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