Buglife are excited to announce the results of the recent National Bug Vote and are pleased to note there appears to have been no electoral malpractice or hanging chads. Bees proved extremely popular wining the contest in two of the four home nations and runners-up in the others.
Interestingly in the three home nations where parliamentary champions have come forward for a wide range of species the winner has a parliamentary champion, though there is no suggestion of political interference in the vote.
Scotland was a buzz for the Red mason bee which edged the Green tiger beetle despite a late surge of votes almost entirely pro beetle.
The full Scotland result
Red mason bee (Osmia bicornis) 32%
Green tiger beetle (Cicindela campestris) 25%
Pine hoverfly (Blera fallax) 21%
Freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) 21%
Found in gardens, churchyards and urban greenspace from March to July, this common species of solitary bee visits many different species of flower and is important in pollinating fruit crops such as plum, pears and apples. These bees nest is a variety of pre-existing holes including the soft mortar of walls, cracks around windows, hollow plant stems and also garden bee hotels!
Suzanne Burgess, Buglife Scotland Manager says: We have had a fantastic response to our National Bug Vote! The winning insect highlights how important pollinators are to the general public. Our gardens provide valuable habitat for pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies as well as other wildlife. Planting native wildflowers, using peat free compost and stopping the use of pesticides will provide further benefits to our urban wildlife, especially our pollinators!
Patrick Harvie, MSP Species Champion for the Red mason bee and Scottish Green Party member says: It’s great that people are increasingly aware of the importance of bees in our environment, but many people still think “bees = hives”. A lot of the bees you’ll see live more solitary lives, and everyone can help give them a welcoming place to make their home in, even if all you have is a back court or a community garden. Buglife can help show you how!
Whilst the beetles are left to lick their wounds, particularly the pre-contest favourite the ladybird, the four wining species will soon be gracing the cover of Buglife’s 2017 annual review and will individually be the front for a new series of membership recruitment leaflets.