Rare bee found in Newport, south Wales, for the first time

By Luca Weinmann
BBC News

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Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The small scabious mining bee has never been spotted in Newport before

A "nationally scarce" species of bee has been found in Newport for the first time, conservationists say.

Buglife Cymru said it discovered a "strong population" of small scabious mining bees at St Julian's Park local nature reserve last week.

It said it marked the first time the species had been found in the city or the surrounding area.

Conservation officer Liam Olds said: "To discover a new population of this rare bee in Newport is very exciting."

He said the species had experienced a severe decline in recent times as a result of habitat loss.

They have a "widespread but patchy distribution" across Wales, particularly on the Castlemartin and Gower peninsulas on the south coast, according to the charity.

The discovery in Newport was made by Buglife's Searching for Scabious project, set up to help halt the decline.

Pollinators such as bees keep crops healthy and are an important part of the ecosystem which keep nature ticking, according to the conservation group.

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"Two-thirds of all crops are reliant on insect pollinators, without them food production would decrease," said Mr Olds.

Buglife is setting up "b-lines" so that invertebrates like the small scabious mining bee can flourish throughout the UK.

These are chains of particularly appealing flowers across Britain to support healthy populations of pollinators.

Mr Olds said: "We all have a duty to look after our wildlife and we shouldn't stand by and watch things go extinct on our watch."

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