Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Christmas Buzz

11.12.2006
This festive season, keep an eye and ear out for something unusual. The buzz of bumblebees flying amongst flowers is normally associated with a summer’s day. But now it can be heard throughout much of Britain in the depths of winter, when all sensible insects are hibernating.

Driven by climate change, and by planting of exotic garden plants that flower through the winter, one species of bumblebee seems to have given up hibernating altogether. The buff-tailed bumblebee is a typical large yellow-and-black stripy bumblebee. Like other bumblebees, it is only normally seen from about April to September, spending the autumn and winter asleep underground. But for a few years now, confused bees have been seen in winter on the south coast of England.


This winter, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust based at University of Stirling has been sent reports of winter bumblebees as far north as Nottingham and York, suggesting that the phenomenon has spread several hundred miles northwards. It seems that, as the climate warms and winters become much milder, the bees are taking advantage and trying to breed through the year. So this year, if you feel the need for a bit of fresh air after your Christmas lunch, give the Queen’s speech a miss and go out into the garden and see if you can spot a bumblebee.

Professor Dave Goulson, of the University’s School of Biological and Environmental Sciences and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and, said: “At a time when most of our bumblebee species are undergoing devastating declines it is good to hear that at least one species seems to be thriving, and adapting to our changing climate. However, we are concerned that there may be knock-on effects for other rare bee species. We are very keen to hear how far this has spread, and would welcome records from anyone who sees bumblebees in their garden this winter, particularly those in the North of England, Wales or Scotland.”

While the buff-tailed bumblebee is thriving, the picture is not so cheery for other bumblebee species.

Professor Goulson said: "Many bumblebee species are undergoing catastrophic declines across Europe, with three species now extinct in the UK and several more heading that way. The main cause is loss of hay meadows and flower-rich grasslands to intensive agriculture. We can all help by planting wildflowers and cottage-garden flowers such as foxgloves, lupins and lavender in our gardens."

Professor Goulson will give a free public lecture entitled Where have our bumblebees gone? on Wednesday 13 December 2006 at 4.00 - 5.00 pm in the Logie Lecture Theatre, University of Stirling.

Lesley Wilkinson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bumblebeeconservationtrust.co.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>