Creating a buzz about bumblebees with the BBCT
Chippindale’s Bee Friendly Farm initiative was launched to raise awareness of the British bumblebee’s plight and support the work of the Bumbleebee Conservation Trust in a practical and tangible way.
30th July 2016
Bumblebees and the British countryside go hand in hand which is why the work of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust is so important to us at Chippindale Foods.
Bumblebees help to pollinate around 80% of Europe’s crops but their numbers are diminishing. This could have a significant knock-on effect on the variety of local foods available to farm and eat.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust launched in 2006 with a mission to reverse the decline of the British bumblebee by raising awareness of its plight and conserving and creating wildflower habitats.
We teamed up with them in 2013 to set up a scheme that introduces pollen and nectar rich habitats to sites that produce our free range eggs.
Why is the bumblebee in trouble?
The bumblebee’s natural habitat has been steadily disappearing over the years with the loss of around 97% of Britain’s pollen and species rich meadows since the 1930s, along with other semi-natural habitats.
Insects in general have fewer places to feed and nest and these environmental changes have led to a reduction in their numbers and the extinction of two British bumblebee species.
Increased awareness means that many gardeners are now conscious of the need to introduce more bee friendly flowers to their gardens and this is helping to give the urban bee population a boost. In contrast, much of the British countryside is devoid of bee-friendly flowers.
Spot the difference
People often confuse bumblebees with honey bees, or even wasps. There are distinct differences between the appearance and lives of honey bees, bumblebees and solitary bees.
There are 250 species of bee in the UK. One of these is the honey bee, there are 24 species of bumblebee and the rest are solitary bees.
Bumblebees do not swarm and are non aggressive. They live in nests, not hives, and are generally fatter and furrier with a deeper buzz.
Although honey bees are pollinators it is the bumblebee we rely on to pollinate British crops such as strawberries, raspberries, apples and tomatoes.
Bumblebee season is between March and October and bumblebees need feeding throughout this period.
Chippindale’s Bee Friendly Farm initiative was launched to raise awareness of the British bumblebee’s plight and support the work of the Bumbleebee Conservation Trust in a practical and tangible way. By choosing Bee Friendly Eggs, consumers are supporting the work our egg producing farmers are doing to increase the acreage of bee friendly habitat.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is working hard in all sorts of ways to help the bumblebee survive. To find out more about bumblebees and the organisation’s work visit their website www.bumblebeeconservation.org.