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Who are we?

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust was founded in response to growing concerns about the 'plight of the bumblebee'. We were very concerned by the extinction of 3 species and the dramatic declines experienced by 9 others. We aim to prevent further declines, and to raise awareness of the problems bumblebees face. We now have over 1,300 members ranging from enthusiastic and concerned amateurs right through to internationally renowned research scientists. All of us share a common affection for these affable insects and a desire to see them conserved for future generations. Our activities are co-ordinated from offices at the University of Stirling.

Our newsletter
Includes help with identifying bees, tips on attracting them to your garden, and sites to see some of the rarer species


Encouraging farmers to adopt ELS and allow wildlife back onto farms
Establishing reserves in sensitive areas to protect threatened species
Campaigning against developments that threaten important habitats
Highlighting the illegal use of non-native bees for pollination
dvising landowners and reserve wardens on conservation issues


 Our newsletter is full of interesting facts and information
events and activities teach people more about bumblebees
We give talks and run events for interested groups and schools
Our interactive website is a useful resource for interested parties

 Please join today and help to make things change...

Our members
Learning how to identify different bumblebee species at one of our members days

Searching for the rare Blaeberry bumblebee (B. monticola) in the Highlands of Scotland


The range (past and present) of the Blaeberry bumblebee, compiled using the existing BWARS atlas with the help of BBCT members

The beautiful but threatened Blaeberry bumblebee (B. monticola)

Professor David Goulson


"We set up the trust in the hope of raising awareness of the problems faced by bumblebees. With luck, the BBCT can be a force for positive change, helping to boost biodiversity in gardens and in the farmed countryside. Bumblebees are key players in ecosystems and seem to be very sensitive to environmental change, so if we can get things right for bumblebees then lots of other wildlife will benefit too..."

Ben Darvill

Permanent Staff

Bridget England
Senior Conservation Officer

“We are thrilled to be the first full-time employees of the trust. In addition to keeping all administrative systems running smoothly (we hope), we’ll have the exciting job of helping to set up the first trust reserve. We are also keen to forge links with anyone interested in developing a knowledge of or caring for our native bumblebees, including educational institutes, farming and crofting communities, and other conservation bodies. In the near future, we intend to produce a school’s pack that will not only meet national curriculum guidelines but get children enthused about bumblebees and other wildlife in their local areas. Interested teachers, please get in touch. What we hope for most is that some of our work will spark a change in land management practice, whether in a broader agricultural context or in our own back gardens, that will allow our native bumblebees to thrive.”

Lucie Southern
Conservation Officer


"I've been studying bumblebees, and their interactions with the environment for a number of years. I'm very worried about the continuing declines we are witnessing, and will be doing all I can to help the BBCT improve their plight...."

Dr. Juliet Osborne
Conservation Advisor

Dr. Paul Williams
Conservation Advisor

“I study bumblebees because they are colourful, fun, and their diversity is intriguing. I want others to be able to enjoy these things too, so we need to find out why they are declining and do all we can to help conserve them…”

Research Students

"I've been with BBCT right from the start, and have enjoyed helping it grow. These days most of my time is taken up with my PhD, but I'm still very much involved, especially with resources for children. My research is on the rare Blaeberry bumblebee. I'm hoping members will send in records to help me produce an up-to-date distribution map. "

Jennifer Harrison-Cripps
Blaeberry Bumblebee Ecology & Conservation

Gillian Lye
Bumblebee Nesting Ecology & Conservation

"I'm currently studying for a PhD looking at how to improve agricultural areas for bumblebees. I'm hoping to find out more about the nesting sites bumblebees like to use, and how they find them. The first step towards conserving rare species is understanding them, which is why the research program overseen by BBCT is so crucial."

"Many areas of machair aren't what they use to be. Changes in management have left large tracts severely degraded. In some areas, groups like BBCT and RSPB are trying to restore the machair, but we don't really know how to go about it. My research will hopefully identify the best techniques."

Nicky Redpath
Machair Restoration for the Great Yellow Bumblebee

Steph O'Connor
Ecology of the Bombus lucorum cryptic complex

"Until recently, the UK had just one white-tailed bumblebee - but now we have three! Recent research has demonstrated that B. magnus and B. cryptarum both occur here too. However, to the human eye they look identical, so we know almost nothing about them. I'll be using genetic techniques to identify colonies of the different species, and will be studying them to find out more about their ecology."