A Bags of Help award of £2,000 brings local people, experienced naturalists and nature together to protect Scotland's rarest bumblebee with a ‘mini machair’ network.

The funding continues the delivery of training and support for volunteers to find, identify and monitor the Great Yellow Bumblebee, Bombus distinguendus, one of the UK's rarest bumblebees. Its distribution has declined by 80% in the last century. 

The cause of its decline is most likely due to agricultural intensification and the subsequent loss of clover-rich flower meadows.

The Isle of Tiree is home to one of the largest populations of great yellow bumblebees in the UK, making it an important refuge nationally. But even there, the bees appear to be struggling.

“Volunteers are crucial in helping us to monitor the distribution of this nationally important bee and to help us to create diverse habitats to support this declining species. By providing training, equipment and resources, we can really inspire the people of Tiree to find, identify and care about this important species.”

Janet Bowler, Project Manager

The funding contributes to enabling members of the community to learn how to conduct bumblebee surveys, identify local wildflowers and sow a bespoke mix of seeds of flower species known to be favoured by Great Yellow Bumble Bees. RSPB Scotland also continue to be involved by providing ecological advice and survey support.

Tiree homes are scattered throughout the island, usually within bee’s-reach of nesting and hibernating habitat, making their gardens ideal for creating a ‘mini-machair’ network. Gardens across the island join the school, medical practice, church and old folks’ home along with patches of croft land.

The gardens are planted up with Great Yellow Bumble Bee ‘super-food’ so that there is a good supply of pollen and nectar throughout their active period (June - September).

Key Facts
Isle of Tiree, Argyll and Bute
Project type: Environment
Bags of Help Funding: £2,000
Grantee: Nadair Thiriodh
Website: www.friendsoftiree.org.uk/tirees-great-yellow-bumblebee-project/

View the printable pdf Tiree's Great Yellow Bumble Bees

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Up to £2,000 is available from Tesco Bags of Help to support a wide range of projects that benefit your local community. Tesco Bags of Help is administered by Groundwork working with greenspace scotland to support applicants and successful projects in Scotland. 
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