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Archive for February, 2010

Click HERE for a lovely video of the solitary bee Osmia sybarita by researcher and fellow BWARS member Niko Vereecken. This species nests in snail shells, and was filmed in Israel. It also shows the filming capabilities of the Nikon D3s DSLR.

Further images HERE.

In the UK Osmia bicolor similarly nests in snail shells.

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A project to encourage a rare bumblebee has been named the winner of a £25,000 conservation prize.

It is hoped the scheme to enhance the wildflower habitat near Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire, will help to establish a colony of shrill carder bees.

It is one of just six sites in the UK where the species can be found.

It was chosen as the winner of the 30,000 euro prize in an online vote on the Live for the Outdoors website, from a shortlist of six UK projects.

[Read full article]

BBC News Online

Congratulations! I believe they won with around 59% of the votes.

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After a successful first year, British Wildlife Photography Awards (BWPA) are looking for entries again this year.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the winning entries, but especially the image that wins the special award for conservation photography and a category dedicated to British biodiversity and native species under threat. This later category has been added  to celebrate 2010 as International Year of Biodiversity.

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Plans to save Britain’s declining bee population have been thrown into disarray after a row broke out between beekeepers and government officials.

The British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA), the country’s largest beekeeping body, believes that money put aside for a £2.8 million Whitehall initiative to protect the health of honeybees is being misspent.

The organisation has now walked out of the management board set up to run the Healthy Bees strategy, which is aimed at reversing the decline in honeybees in Britain.

The BBKA states money being wasted on unnecessary surveys as the reason for walking out.

Later in the article I read with interest the following..

Dr Simon Potts, from the school of agriculture at the University of Reading, has revealed new findings indicating that wild bees such as bumblebees and solitary bees are responsible for the bulk of crop pollination.

But across around half of Britain, numbers of wild bees are lower now than they were before 1980.

He said: “About 90 per cent of our crop pollination is done by wild bees while only 10 per cent is done by honeybees.

“It is important that the Government doesn’t concentrate too much on honeybees. Investing all our time in that will not save us if we don’t pay attention to the other 250 species of bees we have got here in this country.

Finally it seems people are beginning to realize that native pollinators like solitary bees and bumblebees are far more important than once thought.

Please read full article.

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