Wintry buzz of bumblebees

Instead of hibernating, bumblebees are showing increasing activity during British winters.  Sightings are most frequent in the south-east and the west of England,  but are also being recorded in East Anglia, Wales, the Midlands and as far north as Hull.  Climate change undoubtedly has a role to play, but the trend is also being attributed to the British passion for gardening and the availablility of flowers all year round for foraging bees. The non-native shrub Mahonia is mentioned as being particularly popular with both gardeners and insects.  The phenomenon, restricted to British urban and suburban areas, is shedding light on how certain species of bees might be adapting to climate change.  More info in the Independent

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