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The Corporation

Posted: 11/05/11

Students tackle plight of the bumble bee

The decline of the bumble bee is being tackled by students at West Nottinghamshire College.

Learners on A level environmental studies courses have put the finishing touches to a wildlife area at the college’s Derby Road campus by planting nesting boxes made by carpentry students.

It forms part of a conservation and sustainability project to raise awareness of the importance of the bumble bee and honey bee – and how the threat to their survival affects the pollination of flowers and crops.

The learners prepared the ground last term by planting a wildflower meadow on the college’s playing fields incorporating crocus and bluebells designed to attract the insects.

They have now filled in the gaps in the hedges by planting more plants and set the ten wooden bee boxes into the ground, while also scattering more meadow flower seeds.

It is hoped the boxes will provide a safe haven for bumble bees during the wet winter months, when many can drown in the rain.

Science tutor Claire Kawamoto said: “Bees traditionally start looking for hibernation underground in October.  However, due to loss of habitats and previous wet winters, many are sadly wiped out.

“We’re now ready to get the nesting boxes camouflaged and hopefully see lots of bees using them in the autumn.  We’re confident we’ve provided a natural habitat and the wildflower meadow will help feed and look after them, providing a year-round supply of nectar and pollen.

“The students have really taken this project to their hearts.”