As part of our Plan Bee campaign to help pollinators such as bees, butterflies and moths, today we have released the results of research to map locations of the native British black honeybee.
The native bee could hold the key to reversing the dramatic decline in honeybee numbers as over the last ten thousand years, it has evolved thick black hair and a larger body to help keep it warm in the UK’s cooler climate.
Experts had feared that they were only to be found in remote northern areas, however a three year research project, funded by The Co-operative and carried out by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association (BIBBA), has discovered that the British Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) is seemingly alive and well across the UK.
Terry Clare, President of BIBBA said: “We were pleasantly surprised to discover that there are more British Bee populations than we suspected and this will hopefully persuade many more beekeepers to use British bees.”
Read more about the results of our research or get involved with our Plan Bee campaign.
Read the Guardian's report on our research - Black honeybees rediscovered in Britain.
We had a black honeybee in our house this week. (South Staffordshire). We were both surprised at how it looked and decided to google it. It was definitely a black bee!
Black honeybee just released from inside my house; so they are to be found in Shropshire.100% certain of type.
As a passionate beekeeper I want to say a big thank you to the Co-op for setting up this campaign
Good ethical behaviour from The Co-op yet again. We just go from strength to strength.
Excellent news, keep up the good work. :-)