Heritage Lottery Fund and Coventry University
Royal Horticultural Society, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Garden Organic
Gemma Foster and Judith Conroy
Blooms for Bees aims to promote bee-friendly gardening and encourage citizen scientists from across the UK to explore the presence and floral preferences of bumblebees in their gardens and allotments.
This will be achieved by:
- Creating a project smartphone/tablet app, website, videos and social media presence.
- Creating a display garden at Ryton Organic Gardens and installing garden signage at Coventry University and RHS Wisely.
- Delivering events across the UK, including festivals and bumblebee identification workshops.
- Collecting data on bumblebee presence and foraging in UK gardens and allotments.
- Determining bumblebee floral preferences.
- Disseminating results via partners.
Bumblebee populations have declined significantly over the past century, largely as a result of habitat loss. Gardens and allotments offer an amazing opportunity to create vibrant flower rich habitats to support these vital pollinators. Despite this, there is little scientific information about which bumblebee species visit gardens and which garden plants are most important.
Citizen scientists from across the UK will be encouraged to survey the flowering plants in their gardens and allotments, and submit photographs of the visiting bumblebees for verification by experts. This data will improve understanding of bumblebee distribution and foraging in gardens and allotments.
Findings will be used to improve gardening recommendations and promote practices to support bumblebees. Participation and engagement will also encourage a greater appreciation of biodiversity and highlight the importance of gardens and allotments for supporting bumblebees.
Data will be shared with the National Biodiversity Network, making records available to other organisations and individuals. This will help build a long-term picture of UK bumblebee populations, allowing scientists and politicians to track bumblebee distributions.
Tripura Agroecology Partnership
This project aims to link nutritional security with selective agroecological diversication for resilient rural communities.
In each monthly edition of our newsletters, we will be asking one of our researchers in CAWR to shed some light on their research.