Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Friday, 6 July 2007 11:46 UK

Fears over rare bumblebee numbers

Great yellow. Picture courtesy of Bumblebee Conservation Trust
The great yellow is classed as the UK's rarest bumblebee

The wet summer is having a "dramatic effect" on ground nesting bumblebees, according to a conservation trust.

Species at risk include the great yellow, which is the rarest in the UK and clings to survival in areas of the Highlands and Islands.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust launched a national garden watch and a drive to boost the insect's numbers earlier this year.

It said rain-sodden ground and moss was a threat to certain species.

Ben Darvill, of the University of Stirling-based trust, said data collected so far from the public on bumblebee sightings was still being collated.

Bumblebees will be seen in abundance until autumn, but because of global warming we are also looking for sightings over winter too
Ben Darvill
Bumblebee Conservation Trust

However he explained: "The bad weather is having a pretty dramatic effect especially for ground nesting bees. The ground in which they nest is being saturated."

Mr Darvill said he did not believe species will be wiped out, but populations may suffer.

Declining numbers could have a knock-on effect on the pollination of crops and flowers, he added.

Species at risk include the great yellow and moss carder, which nests in mossy tussocks.

He also said it had been a poor season for the more common red-tailed bumblebee.

Mr Darvill added: "We'd encourage people to keep sending in their observations. Bumblebees will be seen in abundance until autumn, but because of global warming we are also looking for sightings over winter too.

"We would also encourage people to carry on planting wild flowers in their gardens."



SEE ALSO
Wettest June in almost 70 years
06 Jul 07 |  Scotland
Bid to halt bumblebee decline
16 Apr 07 |  Tayside and Central
Trust to launch bumblebee watch
02 Apr 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Rare bumblebee to be researched
01 Apr 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Bumblebee reserve appeal launched
28 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Homing instinct of bees surprises
26 Jul 06 |  Science & Environment
Move to save UK's threatened bees
22 May 06 |  Tayside and Central

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific