Five species of bumblebee, which twenty years ago were classed as widespread and common, are now endangered. The reason for the decline of some bumblebees species is not fully understood. The common theory is that there are fewer wildflowers, due to the change in traditional haymaking practices and the use of weedkillers. The removal of suitable nesting sites, such as hedgerows, could also have played a part.
Changes in gardening practices may also have had an impact. Increased use of insecticides, the fashion for flowers which have no scent and do not produce nectar could all have played a part, along with tidying up of gardens which removes potential nest sites.
Picture by Jennifer Ford