Shrill Carder Bee

Scientific Name: 

Bombus sylvarum

Distribution: 

In the UK, it was considered a common species in the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. However, records since 1970 indicate that it has declined drastically in the UK, and is now only known from seven populations. These are in Kent, Essex, Wiltshire, Somerset and South Wales.

Habitat: 

This bee is an insect of extensive areas of herb-rich grassland of the sort that used to be widespread in Britain. Today, populations are restricted to large military ranges, unimproved pasture across the Somerset Levels, and brownfield sites along the Thames corridor. Formerly common and widespread meadow and hedgerow plants with long corollas, such as vetches, clovers, dead-nettles and the red bartsia, are essential sources of pollen and nectar. It has been estimated that each bee nest requires an area of suitable habitat in the region of 10 square kilometres to produce queens successfully in late summer. Nectar and pollen supplies need to be available throughout the bee's flight period of April to September.
refs = new Array(); gloss = new Object();
refs[1] = 'Falk, S. 1990 A review of the scarce and threatened bees, wasps and ants of Great Britain, JNCC.';
gloss. Abdomen = 'in arthropods (crustaceans, insects and arachnids) the abdomen is the hind region of the body, which is usually segmented to a degree. In crustacean (e.g. crabs) the limbs attach to the abdomen; in insects the limbs are attached to the thorax (the part of the body nearest to the head) and not the abdomen. In vertebrates the abdomen is the part of the body that contains the internal organs (except the heart and lungs).';
gloss. Corollas = 'the petals of a flower considered as a group or unit and usually of a colour other than green; often arranged in a whorl.';
gloss. Hibernation = 'a winter survival strategy characteristic of some mammals in which an animal\'s metabolic rate slows down and a state of deep sleep is attained. Whilst hibernating, animals survive on stored reserves of fat that they have accumulated in summer. In insects, the correct term for hibernation is \'diapause\', a temporary pause in development and growth. Any stage of the lifecycle (eggs, larvae, pupae or adults) may enter diapause, which is typically associated with winter. ';
gloss. Thorax = 'part of the body located near the head in animals. In insects, the three segments between the head and the abdomen, each of which has a pair of legs.';

Status: 

Classified as Endangered in the UK.
The loss of unimproved flower-rich grasslands, unploughed and unsprayed field headlands and hedge banks, as a result of agricultural improvement and intensification, has been the major cause for the decline of this and many other species of bumblebee. Heavy and continued grazing of flower-rich sites also poses a threat, and the existing populations along the Thames corridor are presently being threatened by proposed development.
refs = new Array(); gloss = new Object();
refs[1] = 'Falk, S. 1990 A review of the scarce and threatened bees, wasps and ants of Great Britain, JNCC.';
gloss. Abdomen = 'in arthropods (crustaceans, insects and arachnids) the abdomen is the hind region of the body, which is usually segmented to a degree. In crustacean (e.g. crabs) the limbs attach to the abdomen; in insects the limbs are attached to the thorax (the part of the body nearest to the head) and not the abdomen. In vertebrates the abdomen is the part of the body that contains the internal organs (except the heart and lungs).';
gloss. Corollas = 'the petals of a flower considered as a group or unit and usually of a colour other than green; often arranged in a whorl.';
gloss. Hibernation = 'a winter survival strategy characteristic of some mammals in which an animal\'s metabolic rate slows down and a state of deep sleep is attained. Whilst hibernating, animals survive on stored reserves of fat that they have accumulated in summer. In insects, the correct term for hibernation is \'diapause\', a temporary pause in development and growth. Any stage of the lifecycle (eggs, larvae, pupae or adults) may enter diapause, which is typically associated with winter. ';
gloss. Thorax = 'part of the body located near the head in animals. In insects, the three segments between the head and the abdomen, each of which has a pair of legs.';

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Species: 

B. sylvarum

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