The University of Reading (UoR) and Friends of the Earth (FoE) are undertaking a project to put together a list of local ‘Iconic Bees’ - one for each region (or in some cases county) of the U.K .This will be a species which has a story to tell – be it negative or positive. Once completed it will be a useful tool for local campaigners as it will give the general public a bee species to support locally and could also go a long way to raising awareness of bee diversity in the U.K.
We are looking for an authoritative volunteer/s from each region (listed below) with good knowledge of their region’s bee fauna and particularly of the proposed species assigned to their region. The list below is not exhaustive however and if a regional expert feels there is a species in their county with a story to tell then we would like to hear from them too.
Essentially what would be needed from a regional expert is information on their bee species, such as how well/bad is it doing, contributing factors in its decline/success in that region and also any interesting facts about its life-history traits or behaviour that you know of. This information could be conveyed either through email, over the phone or in person if not too far to travel. We am looking to gather information throughout February and finish by mid-March at the very latest.
We are also trying to provide a high quality image of each species and so if anybody is willing to provide one (either at a cost or good will!) for any of the species please let me know.
It should be made clear that any choices you make to help with the project will be as private individuals and not part of a BWARS commitment.
The proposed regions and their species are as follows:
South West - Andrena hattorfiana
South East - Anthophora retusa
East - Colletes halophilus
London - Bombus terrestris
East Midlands - Bombus ruderatus
West Midlands - Eucera longicornis
North West - Osmia parietina
Yorkshire - Andrena tarsata
North East - Bombus monticola
Scotland - Bombus distinguendus
Northern Ireland - Colletes floralis
Wales - Osmia xanthomelana
Kent- Bombus subterraneus
If you are interested in helping us, please contact me at the below address: