Bumblebees on Blooms
Regular readers know I do love a good citizen science project and I'm happy to announce the latest one is launched by The RHS/Bumblebee Conservation Trust today.
What can be better than watching bumblebees bothering our flowers on a sunny day and help science to boot? From today until 31st May we're asked to submit our sightings from our gardens and parks around the UK.
Why is this important? Well, bumblebees are a vital pollinator for our garden flowers plus crops such as apples, tomatoes and peas. When the weather starts to warm - even on the odd warm late winter's day - queen bumblebees emerge from hibernation to find nectar to help fuel themselves and gather pollen to feed the hungry larvae of worker bees back in the nest.
Finding out the exact situation in springtime is particularly important as habitat loss/climate change may be affecting the availability of springtime flowers, which in turn will affect the successful establishment of bee colonies at the start of the season.
Our help will ensure the best possible picture and widest coverage of what is actually happening out there. This in turn will feed into the best advice given to gardeners and also help experts answer questions such as whether particular flower colour(s) or types of site or habitat are the most favoured by bees.
I'm particularly looking forward to finding more bumblebees on my springtime flowers such as the pictured crocus. Will you join me? All you need to do is:
- Photograph bumblebees on flowers
- Check its identity here (or say 'bumblebee' if unsure)
- Submit your sighting to the Bumbles on Blooms project on iNaturalistUK (app or online)
You can find out more on the Bumbles on Blooms page on the RHS website.