Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Logo for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust charity

We are buzzing that Biotecture, Growing Revolution’s parent company, are BusinessPlus Members of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Bumblebees are excellent pollinators due to their larger bodies and ability to pollinate more flower types than domesticated honeybees. This is why the UK economy relies on bumblebees to pollinate our crops, fruits and plants, so it’s vital that their population thrives. However, our bumblebees are in real trouble… The UK countryside has lost 97% of its wildflowers since the 1930s, leaving bumblebees with little to feed on and dramatically reducing their wild populations.

But you can help!

Wildlife-friendly planting 

By planting bumblebee-friendly, nectar-rich flowering plants in your PlantBox living wall, and elsewhere in your garden, you can support local wild bumblebee populations year-round by providing essential forage and shelter. It’s important to plant a variety of plants that flower at different times of year as the bumblebee active season is March—October (although some species are now active over winter, so winter-heather and mahonia are excellent winter-flowering plants for those hardy bumbles!)

Bumblebee on a flower head

If you grow strawberries and tomatoes, you can feed yourself the fruits, and pollinators can forage their flowers for nectar. Bumblebees also love the flowers of herbs—all of the following can be easily planted up in a PlantBox trough and used in everyday cooking: chives, thyme, rosemary, sage, mint, oregano, lavender, and borage. You’ll be the bees’ knees if you grow these!

We’d love to see your photos of bumblebees and other wild pollinators foraging from the flowers on your PlantBox troughs! Tag us in social media @growingrevolution or send to contact@plantbox.shop

Bumblebee facts from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust:

  • We have 24 species of bumblebee in the UK – but only seven species are now considered common.
  • The non-native Tree bumblebee, which does not appear to compete with our native bumblebees, is a very effective pollinator and is the only species that nests high above the ground in trees, bird boxes and sometimes in roofs! All other bumblebees nest and hibernate underground in soil or in long grass.
  • Different bumblebee species have adapted to feeding on different flower sizes depending on the length of their tongue. Some bumblebees have very short tongues, e.g. the buff-tailed bumblebee, so they need accessible, flat-shaped flowers, while some bumbles e.g. the garden bumblebee, can reach the nectar deep inside a foxglove or other tubular flowers.
  • Bumblebees emerge from hibernation early in the spring and some species do not hibernate until late October. They therefore need a constant supply of nectar throughout that time, so lavender and other typical summer flowers aren’t enough. Some bumblebees are active all year round now, due to warmer winters.

Find out how your business can support the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in the conservation of this vital species.

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