Delight at sighting in county of rare type of bumblebee - The Evesham Observer

Delight at sighting in county of rare type of bumblebee

Evesham Editorial 30th Jun, 2019   0

A RARE bumblebee made a welcome appearance at a National Trust property near Pershore, the first official sighting in Worcestershire since 2010.

During a training day at Croome, a Brown Banded Carder bumblebee was spotted by Richard Comont from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

The bee, the scarcest of the three all-ginger carder bumblebees, it is found in open flower-rich grasslands in the south of England and Wales where it shows a strong preference for clover, knapweed, red bartsia and similar flower species.

Males, workers and queens are similar in appearance, ginger-brown all over with no clearly-delineated tail, often with a darker brown band on the second abdominal segment.

After introducing ‘holistic grazing’ to the meadows in the parkland the once impoverished soil has slowly transformed into a healthy and natural environment teeming with wildlife which appears to be attracting this uncommon type of bee.

Thanks to a successful funding bid for training and research, Croome chiefs recently held a training day for staff and volunteers at Croome to learn about bumblebees. Richard Comont from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust gave a training session in the morning and then the group ventured out into the park in the afternoon to see how good their new-found identification skills were.

Almost immediately they found a few common species – but then Richard was delighted to discover a Brown Banded Carder bumblebee; a species which was first re-found in Worcestershire in 2010 after not being seen since the 19th century.

Volunteers will be surveying in the parkland over the next few months hoping to spot good numbers and a range of species of bumblebees.

“It was great to find the rare Brown-banded Carder at a new site – hopefully the species will be here to stay,” he said.

“It was fascinating to discover that here are 25 bumblebee species in Britain” said Katherine Alker, Croome’s garden and outdoors manager.

“Thanks to our volunteer surveyors we will find out which species are most often seen at Croome.’


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