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CHANGING PLACES
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Changing Places
Fridays 15.00 - 15.30
Changing Places tells stories about greening Britain - initiatives by individuals, local communities, government or multi-national corporations that contribute to a sustainable future.
Bumble Bees
Friday 17 February
Listen to this programme in full
Dylan Winter
Dylan Winter investigates what is happening to Bumble Bees this winter.
Last year, observations sent into the BBC's Springwatch survey revealed that the bumble bee no longer heralds the coming of spring. In fact, they are now being spotted in parks and gardens all year round, even when there's snow on the ground.

So why are bumble bees flying when they should be fast asleep? It could just be another symptom of global warming.  If that's the case, could this be one of the few good news stories linked to conservation and climate change?

Dylan Winter discovers in this week's Changing Places that it's not quite that simple. Climate change will also bring more extreme weather conditions, and if a winter colony is hit by sudden bad weather, the whole colony could die including the queen.

Bumble BeeSo what we can do to protect one of the nation's most endearing insects? Dylan braves the cold winter weather to go bee spotting with naturalist and bumble bee expert Mike Edwards; bee conservationist Claire Carvell, from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Monkswood; and Tom Ings, a bee researcher who sees bumbles bees foraging on his London campus every day of the year.

He also visits a garden designed with bees in mind, to learn how to provide shelter and food for bumble bees in their time of need.

UPDATE: In this Changing Places about bumble bees we gave advice about feeding garden bees with shop bought honey.  We have since learnt that this is against the advice of the British Beekeepers Association because there is a risk of foreign pathogens passing from the honey to the bees.  The BBA advise using a weak sugar solution, not honey.

Related links:
British Beekeepers Association
Springwatch
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