An introduction to the world of wild native bees


ORFC 2022 session

An Introduction to the World of Native Wild Bees: Why they are Important and the Challenges Faced

With Brigit Strawbridge Howard and Nick Acheson

Planet Earth is home to more than 20,000 different species of bee; as diverse in size and appearance as they are in behaviour, life-cycles, and nesting requirements. Around 280 of these species can be found in Britain and Ireland – but whilst some populations appear to be holding their own, others are declining in both range and numbers. Understanding the importance of bee/pollinator diversity is paramount.

In this session Brigit will cover the basic differences between honeybees, bumblebees, and solitary bees; their varying roles as pollinators of (and fascinating relationships with) flowering plants; the main causes and drivers of bee decline; and how we can meet their needs by creating more pollinator- friendly habitats. Brigit will also introduce us to some of Britain and Ireland’s most unusual and endearing species of bee, including the so called ‘snail shell nesters’, and the remarkably skilled ‘Wool Carder’.