Today marks the first day of spring for the entire northern hemisphere. Three cheers for warmer weather and brighter nights!
When you think about spring, what exactly comes to mind? For me, spring is the season of life and birth. It’s a time when wildlife and plants awaken to brighten up the world around us. But some forms of wildlife are in desperate need of a helping hand – I’m talking about the humble bumblebee.
Bad news for bees
Unfortunately, UK bumblebees are in decline because of changes in agricultural practises, as well as a decrease in land available – many green spaces have been used to build housing and infrastructure. As a result, flowers have been largely removed from the landscape, leaving our fuzzy friends with little to survive on.
There are around 250 species of bumblebee in the world and 24 in the UK – but only eight are commonly found. Bees get a bit of a raw deal in the UK and have a certain ‘fear factor’, but our resident wildlife expert, Kev Gustard, ensures us that we have nothing to be frightened of and that, in fact, insects including bees contribute more than £400m each year to the economy through the pollination of commercial crops, such as tomatoes and apples.
So, how can you help? Good question. Bumblebees need two things: a nest in which to make a cosy home, and lots of flowers for food. So why not build a bumblebee nest in your very own garden? Simply download our guide from The Wildlife Trusts and give our bumblebees a boost.
Once you start to attract groups of bees, you can download The Wildlife Trusts spotting guide, to discover which species are dropping by your garden. Happy spotting!