'Buzzing Balconies' wins its funding bid, thanks to Tesco shoppers, and volunteers pick up strawberry plants and grow bags from Sussex; Claire Harkin talks us through the project and plans. Hoverfly Lagoons updates with an explanation of instars, and news of a special batch of repeats being deployed in strawberry fields this year.
It's a strawberry-heavy issue, with an update from another Buzz Team project 'Super Strawberries' - and if you have grown strawberries, the Team PollinATE and the Garden Shop Calculator would like to know! (We still would, actually)
Hoverfly Lagoons makes plans for Grass vs. Leaf Lagoons
We discuss the recent news about 'Insect Armageddon' and how important volunteer data has been in identifying these issues. Beth presents results from Team Pollinate, showing how important insects are to allotment growing,
A new project 'Buzzing Balconies' is proposed as part of Tesco's 'Bags of Help' funding scheme, aiming to help people in urban areas of Brighton & Hove to learn about pollinators in even a small space. We also launch our (still running) pollinator ID Quiz.
Dave further updates on pesticides found in garden centre plants, showing how this sort of research can lead to real changes being taken!
Balin Davenport introduces the Big Wasp Survey (not a Buzz Club project, but a fab bit of citizen science) and talks All Things Wasp. We reveal the winners of our photo competition, with some really gorgeous examples of insect photography. Ellie talks the ups-and-down of Lagoon Life, with predatory invaders and Batman cameos (...kind of), and encourages schools to take part.
Hoverfly Lagoons updates its protocol and reveals previously-unknown larval behaviour. Dave reports on an investigation into 'pollinator friendly' plants and their pesticide levels (this caused quite a stir when published!), and we crowd-source identification for a Mystery Bee!
Hoverfly Lagoons does some detailed analysis; Dave publishes 'Bee Quest'; and Beth kicks off a new project: Team PollinAte, investigating what pollinators are found in Brighton allotments. We also look into the size of a bumblebee's appetite, and meet the Red Mason bee to find out why it likes to live in walls.
This issue sees the first outing of our fantastic new logo by the talented Ross Napier. Beth updates on her project to examine how bees find their way home (using tiny radio aerials to track bees!) and how being ill affects this behaviour, and Dave looks at the unusual, but pollinator-popular, Sicilian honey garlic.
For more seasonal fare we see how bees contribute to your festive decorating (hint: xmas wreaths would be much less colourful without them), and have another look into winter-flying bumblebees.
Dave discusses problems of trying to garden for bees: a) when the very plants you buy can contain the same pesticides we want to avoid, and b) the sometimes-dubious claims of wildife 'hotel' manufacturers.
A new paper from Buzz Team members sheds light on why pollinators favour some flowers over others, and we take a look at a hugely important late-season resource for many insects: flowering ivy.
Christina explains how non-pest insects other than bees are also affected by neonicotinoids (which Buzz Team scientists have shown are taken up by all sorts of wild plants). Dave shares his own experiences of doing Hoverfly Lagoons (even Profs have highs and lows when it comes to getting to grips with silage!); Rob updates on P.A.N.; and Beth takes us on a tour of her lab-reared bumblebee nests (with photos).
We also learn about the opportunistic Southern 'Cuckoo' Bumblee, and how it too can be outsmarted by orchids...
With results updates from P.A.N., a kickoff introduction to Air Bee 'n Bee and three PhD projects (Bees 'n Beans, Sow Wild! and All About Alliums), this issue marks when several of our Buzz Club favourites got going.
Meanwhile Dave tells the woeful tale of the beautiful - but likely-doomed - Giant Golden Bumblebee, and Beth presents research into the effects of neonicotinoids on Mason bees (common residents of bee hotels). In brighter content, we are introduced to the hobbit-sounding Hairy Footed Flower Bee, and Ellie explains how overwintering in Hoverfly Lagoons works, with these hardy creatures able to survive freezing with amazing use of hard-earned fat layers.
Cristina Botias presents the results of her study into pesticides in field margin wildflowers (showing an alarming level of contamination), and Dave discusses the impact of such neonicotinoid pesticides on butterflies. Meanwhile, Ellie presents the inspiration for Hoverfly Lagoons and introduces the rare Pine Hoverfly. A new bee genus is found in Portugal, and we take a look at the unusual seasonal choices of winter-flying Bumblebees.
Featuring the P.A.N. project (our first project, using pan trapping to examine garden pollinators) and the first outing of Hoverfly Lagoons, Ellie tells the Lagoon Saga that led to the created of that project. Beth discuses a collaboration between the Buzz Club and a local art collective Pale Blue Dot, to explore how our food industry impacts the countryside. We also get a peak at research into the effects of planting beneficial crops around farm fields, and a detailed profile of the Ivy Bee.