How to keep bees app-y

Country Life Every Week - - TOWN & COUNTRY -

SCI­EN­TISTS are seek­ing the public’s help in their quest to un­der­stand the for­ag­ing needs and pref­er­ences of our dwin­dling bum­ble­bee pop­u­la­tion. The Blooms for Bees app (www.blooms­for­ has been launched by Coven­try Univer­sity and can be used by any­one to record the flow­ers that bees visit. A re­cent study shows that pop­u­lar ones in­clude cranes­bill, green alka­net, sage, mal­low and mar­jo­ram, but a more de­tailed pic­ture is re­quired if we are to slow bum­ble­bee de­cline, which has seen two species be­come ex­tinct in the past 70 years.

The app fea­tures a de­tailed iden­ti­fi­ca­tion guide that in­cludes all 25 UK bum­ble­bee species. In its fo­cus on sur­veil­lance of both flow­ers and in­sects (users can sub­mit pho­tos and data), it is the only one of its kind.

The £100,000 project has been co-funded by the univer­sity and the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund in part­ner­ship with the Bum­ble­bee Con­ser­va­tion Trust, Gar­den Or­ganic and the RHS.

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