What does the future hold for our bluebells and bumblebees?

Freston Wood is renowned for the swatches of bluebells nestled amongst the historic trees and they m

Freston Wood is renowned for the swatches of bluebells nestled amongst the historic trees and they make a beautiful sight for spring visitors. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Climate change could leave the region without any bumblebees or bluebells as increasing temperatures are becoming "inhospitable" for native species, a leading charity has warned. 

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced that bluebells and bumblebees are at risk because of the warmer weather. 

The popular bluebell can be found in woodlands as they make use of the open canopy to grow and flower in the spring before the woodland floor area is shaded over in the summer months as the tree leaves grow. 

WWF has said that warmer temperatures mean plants and trees are flowering earlier, which means the bluebells do not get the required amount of sunlight, and if they are not able to time their growth to coincide with the open canopy they may lose out. 

Beekeepers meticulously inspecting hives

Beekeepers meticulously inspecting hives - Credit: Kevin Thorn

The wildlife charity has also raised concerns about spring droughts saying they can also have an effect on the growth of bluebells. 


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Bumblebees have also been put on the "at risk" list by WWF as the pollinators are susceptible to overheating and as they generate heat whilst flying, and their fuzzy bodies provide a warm coat, they are not well equipped to survive in the hot sunny weather. 

Beekeepers are working to reintroduce the native honeybee to Abberton and the surrounding areas

Beekeepers are doing everything they can to keep bees buzzing in Suffolk - Credit: Robert Clare

WWF has said, the insects that thrive better in cooler climates, have moved to more northerly regions, and has warned that the extent to which they can spread is far less than the area they are losing due to climate change, which inevitably could push some species towards extinction.  

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Steve Aylward from Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said: "Bumblebees are important pollinators of a whole host of wild flowers and crops. 

"The selection of species with in Suffolk are essentially representing the range of habitats and climates that we have, and therefore a changing climate will have an impact on the diversity of species we have in Suffolk. 

"It is the weather extremes that are causing a lot of the issues for a lot of our wildlife, and so bluebells are a species that will not respond well to weather extremes and move very very slowly.

Millie Riches amongst the bluebells in Freston Woods. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Millie Riches amongst the bluebells in Freston Woods. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

"Bluebells require very specific habitat conditions which is a stable woodland environment.

"They are such a distinctive part of our woodlands and a lot of people value them for the aesthetics."

Ipswich and East Suffolk Beekeepers member, Samuel, Williams, said: "The bees do a lot of pollination, honeybees and bumblebees pollinate a variety of flowers.

"Bumblebees will individually go for a few flowers to pollinate. They will go to one flower, pick up the pollen and then go to the next flower and pass the pollen on which is the process of pollination."

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