Bumblebees are easy to characterise: all portly geniality, humming quietly, like Pooh.
But there is a sting in the tail (sorry). Three species of bumblebee are already extinct, and nine more under threat. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust was created to combat the “plight of the bumblebee”, and they want our help.
Their site a hive of information (OK, I’ll stop)—offers advice on bumblebee-friendly gardening (including a list of flowers to grow throughout the year), an explanation of the problems and lots of lovely photos.
There’s also a downloadable recording form and a printable identification chart of the six commonest bumbles. With these, they hope you’ll become part of Beewatch 2009, a survey to map the distribution of bees and aid conservation.
You don’t need to join the BBCT do the survey, but if you do you’ll get an identification poster, free seeds, and various other goodies.