Gardeners can help save native bumblebees
Appeared on Space For Nature on May 24th 2003
The National Trust and English Nature are highlighting the plight of our native bumblebees which have declined dramatically over the past 70 years and they say that gardeners can help save them.
We are all, by now, aware of the terrible reduction in numbers of butterflies in our countryside and gardens over recent decades, but how many of us are aware of the parallel decline of our native bees? Bees, like butterflies, have declined because of changes in agricultural practices and gardens are becoming an increasingly important refuge.
Some plants are more useful to bumblebees, and insects in general, than others: some modern forms are sterile (with no pollen) and others, like many double flowered forms, have a flower structure which inhibits access to the pollen. By using simple flower forms with abundant nectar and pollen, we can do more to help these insects.
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