A Great Kentish Bee Count: 5 places to see bees

PUBLISHED: 13:51 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:51 21 May 2018

Bumblebee on Kentish blossom © Brogdale

Bumblebee on Kentish blossom © Brogdale

Archant

Six of the seven rarest species of bumblebee in the UK are found in Kent, and here are five of the best bee spots

With Friends of the Earth’s Great British Bee Count drawing to a close on 30 June, we’d like your readers’ to know how they can get involved. Six of the seven rarest species of bumblebee in the UK are found in Kent, and here are five of the best bee spots.

1. Brogdale National Collections

New at at the national fruit collection this year is a wildlife garden designed to attract bees and other pollinating insects. Look out for White-tailed and Red-tailed bumblebees and the Red mason bee.

2. Ranscombe Farm

Here field margins have been allowed to naturally regenerate and the nectar-rich flowers attract rare bees like the Long-fringed mini-miner bee plus the easier-to-spot Common carder bee and the Wool carder bee.

3. Dungeness and Romney Marsh

The RSPB’s Dungeness nature reserve is awash with yellow-horned poppies and bright blue viper’s bugloss in June, attracting all sorts of rare bees, including the Brown-banded carder bee and the Red-shanked carder bee. Ongoing work to re-introduce the Short-haired bumblebee has attracted other bees, including the very rare Shrill carder bee and the large garden bumblebee.

4. North Kent coast

The North Kent coastline is one of the last remaining places in England the rare Shrill carder bee is known to inhabit. The sea walls and grazed marshes at Elmley National Nature Reserve are great places to spot bees, www.elmleynaturereserve.co.uk

5. Sissinghurst Castle Garden

The gardeners at this world-class garden have been working with Kent Wildlife Trust to manage the meadow so that local, native plants can return. Look for Garden bumblebees, Hairy-footed flower bees and Tree bumblebees.

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Register at www.greatbritishbeecount.co.uk, download the free app and start recording the bees you see.

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