Wales

Tagged with: Bees

Posts (9)

  1. Bee-keepers could hold the key to new superbug treatments in their back gardens. Cardiff University and the National Botanic Garden of Wales are appealing for help in building up a DNA profile of the nation's honey. They hope to use the information to identify plants which could fight antibio...

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  2. Don't panic! It's not a new government housing initiative for West Wales - It's bees. Remember the joint partnership between the BBC and the National Trust - Bee Part Of It that I blogged about back in May? The plan was to introduce 45 new honey bee colonies to the UK with two being in Wale...

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  3. Following recent publicity about the West Wales Bee Breeding project, scientists at Bangor University have been inundated with messages of support, offers of help and reports of feral colonies from beekeepers around Wales. The project aims to breed a stock of disease resistant bees that are easy to work with and suited to the challenging Welsh climate. An apiary in spring. Image by the West Wales Bee Breeding Program: The research team are trying to follow up as many leads as possible and would like to make an appeal to other beekeepers in Wales, to let them know about any feral colonies they know of - that have survived in the wild for at least three years. Anita Malhotra said: "The fact that these feral colonies can survive without medication and feeding by beekeepers suggests that they may be a source of very useful genes". Moving bees to the heather in August. Image by the West Wales Bee Breeding Program: "We have also been told about managed bees from lines going back a long way, or which have particularly interesting characteristics". "One of these is apparent resistance to the parasitic varroa mite, so that colonies do not need to be treated". "Another very useful trait would be bees that are particularly good at adjusting egg laying to suit the prevailing conditions". "This characteristic is important in the changeable weather we get in Wales, so that the bees don't starve when the weather turn bad because they need to feed a very large brood nest while they can't forage". The end product. Image by the West Wales Bee Breeding Program: A website has just been launched for the project - www.bees.bangor.ac.uk so please get in touch if you have any information to share or phone (01248) 383735. The team hopes to visit promising colonies and take nucleus colonies (a common method of increasing hives) which will raise their own queens. These 'nucs' will be left in place until the queen has mated with drones of local provenance, and then moved to a specially established apiary in Mid Wales over winter. In 2011, the team will rigorously compare the performance of these colonies in order to choose the best to enter the breeding program. Gull

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  4. Native wildflower meadows in the UK have seen a dramatic decline, leading to a loss in habitats for a wealth of insects, flora and small mammals. Springwatch presenter Chris Packham talks about their importance to our countryside and the role they play as a food source for many pollin...

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  5. A rare tree bumblebee (bombus hypnorum) has been discovered at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. This particular bee has never been seen so far west before and was first spotted in 2001 in the New Forest, Hampshire having flown over from France. Previously in Wales, it had only been found ...

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  6. This summer, the BBC joins forces with the National Trust for a national campaign, launching on Monday 17 May to investigate the plight of honeybees in Britain. The Bee Part Of It campaign is supported by BBC Local, Springwatch and wildlife presenter Kate Humble, who now manages her own bee hives at home. Bees are the world's most important pollinating insects and honey bees are worth around £200 million a year to British agriculture. Their dramatic decline in numbers recently has become a cause of global concern. Bees, along with other pollinators like butterflies, moths, beetles, and hoverflies are crucial to the entire ecosystem. Albert Einstein is alleged to have once said that, without bees, humanity would die out in four years - now there's a scary thought! Perhaps Hollywood should stop making movies about apocalyptic global warming scenarios and focus on the extinction of bees instead? As Iolo Williams recently mentioned - the biggest threat to our planet is mankind and it is us who will ultimately suffer. Nature will resume, long after we're all gone... As part of the build up to this campaign I've been asking you to send in your best bee photos. Here's a gallery of some of the best ones so far. All native bees have been in decline for some time and a combination of factors are believed to be responsible: habitat loss, pesticides, and disease are key. A bee by Steve Tynant: Recent poor summers have also caused enormous damage to honey bees: a third of all colonies were lost in 2008. Matthew Oates, the National Trust's Chief Conservation Advisor, says: "Bee consciousness is vital and we can all help; we can do simple things like planting bee friendly plants and flowers to encourage bees into our gardens. We want more people to understand the crucial role that bees play in our food chain." The main focus of this campaign is the honey bee, and as part of this project, Radio Wales has adopted two new hives on National Trust property.The first will be at Dinefwr in West Wales. The second hive location has yet to be confirmed. Each hive comes with a bee keeper who'll look after the hive for the summer and hopefully deliver up to fifty jars of honey at the end of the season. I've already bought a new toaster! ;) We'll monitor the hives progress for the duration, and you'll be able to follow the story locally on the Jamie & Louise show as well as on the BBC Wales Local websites. We're also giving away packs of bee friendly flower seeds in June (details to follow), and bees will feature at the Springwatch Wild Days Out. In the meantime, find out which species of flowers are bee friendly from the RHS website and get planting. Bee keeping isn't just a rural operation - bees can thrive in villages, towns, and cities, as long as the conditions are right. Bee Facts: There are 250 species of bee in the UK consisting of bumblebees, honeybees and solitary bees. Pollination delivers â�¬14.2bn to the European economy, most of this is through bumblebees and honeybees. Bumblebees have smelly feet. They produce oily secretions to inform other bees which flowers have already been visited Source: The Bumblebee Conservation Trust That's it for now. If you've got a story concerning bees in Wales then do get in touch. I can mention it here in the blog and pass on any useful information to colleagues involved in the campaign. Gull Having trouble identifying bees? Try the BWARS image gallery.

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  7. Now here's something we can all willingly help out with this summer. Not only does it give nature a helping hand - it also gives 'the mowers' amongst us a very good excuse not to mow the lawns quite so often! ;) RSPB Cymru are asking us not to mow our lawns quite so much and to spare a thought...

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  8. Here at BBC Wales Nature and Outdoors we're always striving for excellence, pushing the boundaries and delivering the latest nature scoops straight to your desktop or inbox (if you subscribe to our blog...) We've recently had our first bee pictures of 2010 sent in. Steve snapped this early ris...

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  9. A project to protect bumblebees in Pembrokeshire is in the running for a UK prize to expand its work on creating habitat for the endangered species. The shrill carder bee is only found in 6 populations across the UK and we're proud to report that 3 of those are right here in Wales! A common ca...

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