Due to increasing publicity more and more people are starting to become aware of the importance of managing our environment and maintaining biodiversity. Here at IBRA we have recently been helping an organisation to encourage wildlife habitiats around pumping stations and areas previously regarded as 'wasteland'.
Whether its your back garden or an area of scrub land, encouraging insects and wildlife is really important. Ensuring good farming practice and the use of various pesticides on our crops and countryside is continually being assessed. There is no quick solution to improving biodiversity. It requires a long term strategy, the benefits of which may not be seen for some time.
Remember it's not just honey bees and bumble bees that are being effected but all our pollinators, which includes wasps and butterflies. And the rule is quite simple:
no pollinators = no food!
The 1st European Workshop on Habitat Management for Wild Bees and Wasps was held in Cardiff, UK. 7 April 1998.
It was a workshop organized by IBRA in conjunction with English Nature and BWARS, and was aimed at all those interested in the scientific or applied aspects of maintaining habitats and conserving the rich bio-diversity of wild bees and wasps.
The themes covered during this inaugural conference included:
- Habitat requirements
- Habitat assessment
- Interpretation for planners
- Examples of current practice
- Methods of funding
- In addition to a formal plenary session there was time available for questions and answers as well as informal discussion.
The aim was to bring together all those who are concerned with landscape ecology as conservationists, planners, administrators, land owners as well as those with scientific interests and those that see wild bees and wasps as bio-indicators of the environmental state.
It is intended that this workshop was the first in a series of similar meetings which address the need for the conservation of Aculeate Hymenoptera in Europe. It should be seen as giving a general overview and future gatherings will look at specific topics such as urban sites, post-industrial sites, green-field planning etc.
The speakers included:
- Michael Archer, Chairman BWARS
- Barry Collins, Ecology Manager, Center Parcs
- Mike Edwards, Entomological Consultant
- John Fry, Head of Pure and Applied Biology, Cardiff University
- David Sheppard, English Nature
- Chris O'Toole, Hope Entomological Collection, Oxford
- Ashley Leftwich, Penny Anderson Associates, Consultant Ecologists
- Paul Westrich, Institut fur Wildbienenkunde, Tubingen, Germany
About the organizers
Established in 1949, the International Bee Research Association is a not-for-profit organization with members in almost every country in the world. It exists to increase people's awareness of the vital role of bees in agriculture and the natural environment.
BWARS is one of a number of national recording schemes administered by the Biological Records Centre. It was established in 1978 and has around 150 members all over Britain. It publishes a biannual newsletter containing notes on sites, observations as well as profiles on aculeates.
English Nature is the statutory body which achieves, enables and promotes nature conservation in England. This is done by working in partnership with individuals and a wide range of organizations including Government, representative bodies, agencies and voluntary organizations.
Proceedings are now available as a book (see above).