The Covid-19 government instruction to stay at home until further notice is a serious one and by supporting each other we can get through this challenging time. This is a period where we can spend more time in our gardens and so to help we will be posting blogs about enjoying nature from your own gardens and about the wildlife that calls your garden their home. There will be a mixture of funny and factual and hope you will enjoy following us over the coming weeks…

This second one is from Rhiannon who found a silver-lining in these challenging times in the form of bumblebees in her garden.

Giving bumblebees a home

The current Covid-19 crisis has left us confined to our homes and although this is a difficult time, I have always been one to find a silver lining in dark times. This is my second week of social distancing and my silver-lining has been bumblebees.

Queens begin to emerge from their winter slumber in early spring and this is evident in my garden as I have enjoyed watching a queen buff-tail bumblebee along the nooks and crannies in search of the perfect nesting site. I am hoping she finds the upturned flower pot I stuffed moss, grass and tubes of bamboo into in a budget-friendly (some would argue, lazy) attempt at a bee hotel. If you’re feeling creative and fancy something to keep you busy, you can make your very own bee hotel. Tips can be found at RSPB Wild Challenge and Bumblebee Conservation Trust pages. Pinterest is another great resource for bee home inspo too!

  

As you may already know, our bumblebees are in serious decline. 97% of Britain’s wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s and large-scale changes in the way we manage our countryside has caused significant loss and fragmentation in bumblebee habitat. This has led to a third of our bumblebee species being currently listed on at least one of the Welsh, Scottish and English conservation priority species due to large-scale declines in their distribution.

Alongside providing nest areas, there are other ways in which we can help our bumblebee populations. Leaving areas of the garden wild can offer a sanctuary, not only for bumblebees but for other wildlife, such as, birds, hedgehogs and other insects. Whether you have a window box or a large garden, planting pollinator-friendly flowers can help give our bumblebees the much-needed boost of pollen and nectar they require for nest building, larvae feeding and growth.

Photos: Rhiannon Munro

If you do decide to help give our bumblebees a home, please tweet us your pics @RSPBNewport. Although we can’t see you at the visitor centre and share nature experiences together, we’re always here digitally awaiting your wildlife news and enthusiasm.

Stay safe and find your silver lining.

Until next time,

Rhiannon

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