Did you know that there are between 250 and 270 species of solitary bee in the UK, and that we have 120 of those species right here in Cornwall?
The Wheal Buzzy Project is looking to increase awareness and habitat of the Duchy’s nationally important miner (solitary) bees, so named because, unlike honeybees and bumblebees, they do not live in colonies.
The post-industrial habitats created by Cornwall’s mining heritage make ideal habitats for solitary bees. Old mining workings have a rich diversity of habitat, from bare grassland to heathland. As many former mining sites have been excluded from intensive agricultural use, they have retained their semi-natural diverse flower-rich habitats – now scarce in an agricultural area.
The Wheal Buzzy Project has identified a number of sites which are strategically important for solitary bees (mining bees): Loe Bar, Praa Sands to Marazion, West Penwith (Sennen to St Ives, and inland toward Madron and Rosewall Hill), Portreath/Godrevy Head, St Agnes, Stepper Point/Padstow, Pentire Head/Port Quin and Trebarwith/Tintagel/Boscastle.
A key component of the Wheal Buzzy Project is community engagement to help conserve and enhance mining bee populations and to raise awareness of the threats to bees.
The Project would love to include the WI – by coming to speak at your monthly meeting, by having members visit some of the key sites, or perhaps even getting you stuck in doing some practical work which could include creating bee hotels or helping with planting.
If your WI is interested, please contact Charlotte Goodship, Wheal Buzzy Project Officer, on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01872 322307.
The Wheal Buzzy Project is funded by the Area of Natural Beauty Partnership and the Heritage Lottery Fund,