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red tailed bumblebee

Red tailed bumblebee, Jon Hawkins, Surrey Hills Photography

Derbyshire's first ever Bee Summit


Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is organising Derbyshire first ever Bee Summit, to be held at the University of Derby on Friday 24 June 2016.

The day will offer opportunities to hear the latest from national bee experts, discover what can be done to help bees recover, and find out how organisations and businesses in Derbyshire can work together to encourage bees. There will also be a bee wiggle dance by a local school.

The UK is home to approximately 267 species of bee, including the well-known honeybee, bumblebees, and many species of solitary bees – but bees are in decline and the UK has lost two species of bumblebee already.

Tim Birch, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's Head of Advocacy and Conservation Strategy, said: “Now is the time to bring together a whole host of concerned and interested organisations to work in partnership, to agree on an action plan for bees and pollinating insects in Derbyshire. We believe this would be a first such comprehensive event at the county level in the UK and could encourage other counties to do the same.”

Professor Paul Lynch, Head of Department of Natural Sciences said: “A healthy bee population is fundamentally important, as bees are primary pollinators for many of the UKs wild flowers and agricultural crop plants.

“Approximately 78 per cent of temperate flowering plants are insect-pollinated, meaning without insects such as bees they could not successfully reproduce. Bee pollination – often from commercial hives – is vital for the production of important UK crops including oilseed rape, apples and strawberries.

“However, in recent years there have been substantial declines in many bee species in the UK, with evidence of reduced ranges for species and particularly solitary species becoming more endangered.”

The Bee Summit will celebrate the significance of bees to the sustainability of our environment, assess why there has been such a significant decline in recent years and consider what can be done to revise these worrying trends.

The full list of speakers will be announced shortly on Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's website.

Tickets costs £30, and the day will run from 9.30am – 5.30pm. To book tickets, please call the Trust on 01773 881188.