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Highland bees and other pollinators were given a welcome boost in 2020, despite Covid restrictions


By Louise Glen

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bees and butterfly on the flower garden
bees and butterfly on the flower garden

Good progress has made by more than 30 partners, including Highland Council in the past year towards delivering the Pollinator Strategy for Scotland.

Pollinators are vital for our biodiversity, but populations face challenges due to changes in land use, habitat loss, diseases, pesticides and climate change. Scotland has 23 types of bumblebee, 79 solitary bees and the honey bee.

honey bees on honeycomb in apiary in summertime
honey bees on honeycomb in apiary in summertime

The strategy aims to make Scotland more pollinator-friendly, halting and reversing the decline in native pollinator populations.

The report praises the work of local authorities as they continue to introduce pollinator-friendly ways to manage their parks and green spaces.

The report recognising the vital role of community groups and environmental bodies such as Buglife Scotland, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Butterfly Conservation in driving multiple projects forwards.

A bee collects honey from a flower in nature.
A bee collects honey from a flower in nature.

During the year, work was done to create wildflower meadows, build bee banks and bug houses, plant pollinator friendly trees and shrubs and transform roadside verges.

Last summer, NatureScot-funded surveys showed Scotland’s Agri-Environmental funding helped improve habitat for pollinators, creating and managing hedgerows and species-rich grassland.

There was further good news with many more scientists and volunteers taking part in the UK’s National Pollinator Monitoring Scheme in Scotland.

NatureScot chief executive Francesca Osowska said: “Despite the challenges we faced in 2020, this progress report contains a lot of good news, and demonstrates the many far-reaching actions which are helping to boost pollinator populations across Scotland.

“Transforming our towns and cities into greener and healthier spaces is essential for pollinators and people alike, and the clear message is that we can all do our bit to help bees, butterflies and hoverflies thrive.

The bee pollinates the lavender flowers. Plant decay with insects
The bee pollinates the lavender flowers. Plant decay with insects

“No matter how big or small our own gardens and community spaces, if we take action to provide food and shelter for pollinators we can help these vital insects and in doing so ensure a nature-rich future for Scotland.”

The report includes helpful tips for members of the public who want to help provide food and shelter for pollinators, including:

Biene bee Vergissmeinnicht forget-me-nots wildbiene wild bee blue yellow blau gelb garten
Biene bee Vergissmeinnicht forget-me-nots wildbiene wild bee blue yellow blau gelb garten
A bee collects honey from a flower in nature.
A bee collects honey from a flower in nature.

For more tips to help nature this winter see NatureScot’s Make Space for Nature guide.

Read more news about bumblebees.


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