The speaker at our February meeting was Alan Knoworthy from the Bumblebee Conservation Society. Alan started his fascinating talk by telling us about the different types of bumblebee found in the UK and how a number of the species are so threatened with extinction that they feature in the UK Red Data Book.
He then went on to tell us about the short tailed bumblebee project being undertaken by the society in The Dungeness area. Following the extinction of this bee the society has been working hard with farmers and landowners to sow suitable flower rich meadows to support new colonies. Once the meadows are well established volunteers travel to southern Sweden to catch emergent queen bees and bring them back to the UK. Once they arrive here the bees spend 2 weeks in quarantine before being released. While in quarantine Alan has to go out to catch other wild bee species and relieve them of the pollen they are carrying and take it to feed the quarantined bees. This takes many hours to collect and is a real labour of love. This all demonstrates the dedication and hard work put in by the projects volunteers to reintroduce the short tailed bumblebee.
This is an example of how essential voluntary work is for the conservation of valuable and beautiful wildlife. We loose species at our cost. To help all to enjoy local wildlife, our work party on 4th March cleared paths at The Glade. Our next work Saturday is on 1st April starting at 10.00am as usual We will be clearing banks and the stream at Riverside Walk between Love Lane and Fryern Dell, starting by the bridge in Love Lane. We may not all be bee experts, but most can contribute to conservation, joining us is just one way. Give it a try! For details of the Thursday work party on 20th April at 2.00pm, please refer to our website.
For information about this and all our activities, or becoming a member, please get in touch with Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or look on our website www.storringtonconservation.org.uk.