I’m the first one to admit it: my knowledge of bees is woefully deficient.

Clutching my FSC fold out guide I have made brief and tentative forays into the mysterious world of bee identification. Like most people, I just haven’t quite “got there” yet.

So imagine my delight when Katy Malone of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust asked for permission to hold a wildflower seed collecting workshop on Glengorm, as part of a Burnets and Bees mini-festival.

This September, Butterfly Conservation Scotland and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust have joined forces to deliver a series of free events, highlighting conservation for rare burnet moths and bumblebees on Mull.

Burnets and bees have both declined in the last decades, but the West Coast of Scotland [and the islands in particular] boasts some of the best areas in the country to spot rarities.

These invertebrates are reliant upon sites where wildflowers are abundant. Happily, Glengorm has some species-rich grasslands of outstanding quality that are actively managed to benefit our bugs.

Elsewhere on Mull, the invasive non-native Cotoneaster plant has destroyed grassland habitat that would otherwise have been suitable for burnets and bees. As part of the mini-festival, a group of volunteers collected seed from Glengorm’s species-rich grasslands to give these damaged sites a head start, following clearance of the Cotoneaster.

We learned how to collect, manage and store seeds for conservation… in addition to consuming a large number of scones (!)

Hopefully this is the start of a great relationship between the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Glengorm and our good friends at Butterfly Conservation Scotland.

Find out more about these great organisations here:

www.bumblebeeconservation.org

www.butterfly-conservation.org

Stephanie Cope

Glengorm Wildlife Steward