Country Corner

The bumblebee
The bumblebee

You cannot have missed all the warnings in the news over recent years concerning threats to our food crops caused by poor pollination due to a lack of bees.

At the forefront of the campaign to redress the balance is the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

By promoting more bee friendly plants in our gardens and public places, great changes have been made in public attitude.

Particularly we have been steered away from the old style of annual bedding plants in favour of more natural planting.

It has to be said, roundabouts and roadsides awash with colour in a mixture of wildflowers are a fantastic sight, and alive with bees.

Council pest control departments and private pest control firms have also undergone a change of heart and will no longer destroy bee nests.

I am also finding clients of my wildlife surveying services are now proud to boast of the number of bee species their planting schemes support.

Many folk will not realise that bumble bees come in numerous species.

My photograph shows Garden Bumblebee. Other common species include Red Tailed, White Tailed, Buff Tailed, Common Carder and Early Bumblebee.

Each species includes queens, males and workers, each with a different pattern.

This all adds up to seemingly endless combinations of yellow and black bands and red tails. Fear not, a bit of study and practice will soon have you able to name bumblebees as they flit from bloom to bloom.

In fact bumblebees are an example of nature which is available to everyone.

Your own garden or park or country path will show you several species.