Flower Power gives Bumblebees a Buzz

by Bethany Day on October 2, 2013

A blue edible flower known as borage is offering a miracle tonic to one of Scotland’s rarest insects.

RSPB Scotland and farmer David Jones have planted the crop to provide a much-needed helping hand to the great yellow bumblebee.

The species was once common in the UK but its numbers have dwindled as a result of modern farming methods and the loss of wildflower meadows.

Nowadays it survives only in coastal meadows on the Western Isles and in parts of Caithness and the Northern Isles.

As well as bolstering the bee population, the new project on Harris in the Western Isles is also providing food for birds such as the corncrake and twite.

Robin Reid, a conservation officer at the RSPB explained:

“Borage produces large amounts of seed and was included in the mix to provide food for seed-eating birds.”

“To our delight the borage also attracted large numbers of bees including the rare great yellow bumblebee. On warm summer days the borage was buzzing with activity, attracting a host of other bee and insect species.”

It is hoped that the taller vegetation planted at Northton will provide a home for corncrakes when they arrive back in the Western Isles in the spring after spending the winter in Africa.

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Bethany Day

Blogger and online PR guru for Interflora UK. Interested in guest-posting on our blog? Email blog@interflora.co.uk or connect with me.

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Post category: Bee Awareness  

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