Bumblebee factsheet.indd

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

Bumblebees are insects of temperate climates. Quite different Bombus lapidarius - another large bee which likes to land on from honey bees and solitary bees, they live in small colonies fl owers with horizontal massed ’platforms’ e.g. Daisy family, of up to 200-300 and with their densely furry bodies can be active even in dull conditions. They are constantly busy in the garden, foraging for nectar and pollen, helping to pollinate Bombus pratorum - small agile size and medium-length tongue means it can probe a range of fl ower depths; able to visit upside-down and drooping fl owers such as Comfrey and Up to 25 species of bumblebee live in the UK. Many are found only in habitats such as moorland or in coastal areas; only 6 or 7 species are widespread and visit gardens. There are also 6 Bombus pascuorum - long-tongued for long-tubed fl owers, species of ’cuckoo’ bumblebees, that mimic other species and especially late fl owers of White deadnett le, but also visits a wide variety of fl owers. Male bees seem to visit compound daisy-like fl owers (e.g Marsh Thistle) more than females.
In the last 30 years, two bumblebee species are known to have become extinct in this country, and many more have suffered This factsheet suggests flowers and planting schemes to attract bumblebees, and shows how you can make special Planting for bees
30 plants popular with bu mblebeesBetony, Bugle, Alkanet, Comfrey, Clovers, Buddleia, Field Early and late fl owers, together with some bee favourites, bean, Foxglove, Knapweed, Thistles, Lavender, Viper’s will give a long supply of nectar. Planting in dense drift s; bees Bugloss, Verbascums, Woundworts, White deadnett le, learn to recognise certain nectar - rewarding fl owers and Chives, Borage, Single larkspurs, Nasturium, Rosemary, will revisit these repeatedly. Some bees have preferences for Catmint, Toadfl ax, Figwort, Marjoram, Curry plant, Snapdragon, Sage and mints, Cranesbills, Agastache.
Bombus terrestris and Bombus lucorum - Short open fl owers e.g White Clover, Comfrey, Field Bean. Both are hole-biting Bluebells, Primrose, Dandelion, White deadnett le, Aubretia, ’nectar robbers’ (see below.) B. terrestris rarely visit pendulous Wallfl ower, Single crocus, Flowering currant, Hazel, Forget- fl owers - its large size means it is oft en not agile enough to so.
me-not, Pussy willow, Winter heather.
Bombus hortorum - has a long tongue so can visit fl owers with petals forming long tubes such as Honeysuckle, Michaelmas daisies, Ivy, Buddleia, Goldenrod, Sedum, Lavender, Escallonia, Echinacea, Ceanothus, Red valerian.
‘Garden’ bumblebee. White-tailed, with extra yellow stripe on it’s abdomen. Medium sized. Flying May – Making a bumblebee nest
for the garden
White-tailed with no extra yellow stripe. Medium sized. Flying from April – September.
• Build a 100 mm x 100 mm x 200 mm box with a lid, from wood. Cut an entrance hole at the bottom of the box. By the Red-tailed bumblebee. All black body with red tail. end of April, dig a hole in a dry, well drained spot and place BIG! Flying from April – September.
• Force a rod or pipe (25-30 mm wide) into the ground so that it Yellow striped with orange-red tail. Small sized. • Place bedding material such as dry grass, straw, or upholsterer’s cotton (but not cotton wool) in the box, close the All black body with red tail and red hair fringing hind lid and cover over with e.g turf, logs or a paving stone.
legs. Small sized. Flying from April – September.
• Plant a 10 cm tall stick upright nearby as a ’marking post’ to help bees find their way back to the nest.
‘Carder’ bee. No stripes, usually all brown, but quite IN A CLAY FLOWER POT
variable. Small sized and late fl ying June – October.
• By the end of April, half bury a 9”/225 mm deep clay fl owerpot in a dry, well drained, sheltered, sunny fl owerbed Living Landscape
or hedge bott om so that the drainage hole in the base faces A Living Landscape is a recovery plan for nature, championed • Att ach a short 5-6 cm length of hosepipe (25-30 mm wide) to by The Wildlife Trusts since 2006. It is a new way of thinking about how we manage land to do more for wildlife, people • Add some bedding material such as pets’ bedding, dry grass, straw, or upholsterer’s cott on (not cott on wool.) • Cover over the rest of the pot with soil or vegetation so that Our gardens represent a vast living landscape; and with an estimated 16 million gardens in the UK, the way they are • Plant a 10 cm tall stick upright nearby - bees may use this as managed can made a big diff erence to wildlife.
a ’marking post’ to help them fi nd their way back to the Across gardens and beyond, our vision to create A Living Landscape involves enlarging, improving and joining-up areas Seven species you might meet in
of wildlife-rich land in all parts of the UK. There are now over the garden
100 inspirational Living Landscape schemes around the UK, rich in opportunities for sustainability, learning, bett er health WHITE-TAILED
What is good for wildlife is good for people too.
Buff -tailed bumblebee. ‘Tail’ quite variable white- yellow. BIG! Flying from June – October.
For more information go to www.wildlifetrusts.org Registered charity no 259558 Limited company no 959609 www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk 01889 880100 www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk

Source: http://www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/Garden%20Bumblebees%20factsheet.pdf

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