Today in Basingstoke I was nearly knocked over by a low flying Basingstoke Bumble Bee. That would be a queen, so early in the year, setting out to establish the new location for her new colony. It is fantastic to see these majestic beautys moving around on a sunny day like today, as there appears to be a threat on the horizon.
It has been reported in many papers like the guardian, and through the media such as the BBC this week, that Bumblebees appear to be contracting a deadly disease. It is possible that it is being passed from their domesticated honeybee cousins. According to a study that looked at 26 UK sites.
“Wild populations of bumblebees appear to be in significant decline across Europe, North America, South America and also in Asia,” said Mark Brown of the University of London He said his study, which is published in Nature, confirmed that a major source of the decline was “the spill over of parasites and pathogens and disease” from managed honeybee hives.
This appears to be happening when infected Honey bees have visited a flower, and leave traces of disease, this then may infect Bumble Bees when they visit the same flower.
The new study did not look at colony collapse disorder, a mystery disease that affects North America more than elsewhere.
So keep your eyes out and make your garden as hospitable as possible for our Bumble Bees, as they seem to have a fight coming their way.
This pic taken of Bumble Bees in Kempshott, Basingstoke March 2013.
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