Bombus ruderatus

One of the UK’s rarest bumblebees, Bombus ruderatus, has returned to Hampshire after an absence of 50 years, thanks to the Vitacress Salads Limited policy of improving biodiversity and looking after the environment.

Pinglestone Farm, one of the Company’s baby leaf salad production sites, is where this rare insect has reappeared. The farm has swathes of land set aside for flower, clover and legume-rich vegetation which provides a haven for native wildlife. Bumblebees are nature’s pollenators and as such are very important to the eco-system. Entemologist Mike Edwards, who has written the Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain & Ireland (www.ocelli.co.uk) is absolutely delighted and has praised the efforts of Farm Manager Andy Elworthy and his staff.

Vitacress Salads Limited plays an active role in ‘Operation Bumblebee’ which is a scheme committed to reversing the decline of the bumblebee populations on UK arable farms. This decline has primarily been caused through loss of vital nectar food resources and nesting sites because of the change in cropping patterns. One of the 20 bumblebee species has disappeared altogether, and three other species are on the verge of extinction, which is why the return of the Bombus ruderatus to Hampshire is such welcome news.

Click on the link below to see the BBC video:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_6930000/newsid_6936000/6936002.stm?bw=bb&mp=wm&news=1

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