FACT FRIDAY WEEK 3
The fluffy bumblebee is a familiar and much loved sight in our gardens, parks and wild spaces!
They are brilliant pollinators, and love plants such as lavender, rosemary and white clover. Bumblebees live in colonies of roughly 150 - but sadly, only the Queen Bee survives over winter by hibernating, and she will re-emerge the next Spring to start a new colony again.
Did you know that bees, along with other pollinators like butterflies and wasps, are responsible for pollinating one third of the world’s food production! Crops like apples, strawberries, almonds and blueberries all make their way to your plate thanks to these amazing insects.
If you take a close look at the back legs of a bumblebee, you might see a small yellow blob. This is know as the pollen basket, or corbicula. These are dense clumps of pollen that the bee has collected during its time finding nectar, and when taken back to the hive, they provide an important source of protein in their diet.
There are roughly 250 species of bumblebee in the world, 25 of which are found in the UK. Unfortunately, bees are really struggling from habitat loss and use of insecticides such as neonicotinoids.
If you want to help bees recover, make sure to sign petitions against these insecticides and plant bee-friendly flowers in your garden. If you don’t have a garden, get in touch with your council and ask them to plant wildflower verges.
Make sure you follow us to keep up-to-date with Fact Friday, and let us know what species you want to see in the comments!