B is for Bumblebee Bats and Bees
Bumblebee Bats and Bumblebees!
Two species in one blog !
First, the bumblebee bat, which is the smallest mammal in the world!
Only the size of a bumblebee (hence its name) at just over an inch long, it weighs less than 2g.
Bumblebee bats live in caves in Burma and Thailand, and are endangered by various factors including human disturbance (everyone wants to see one) and by the annual burning of forest near their caves.
The EDGE of Existence programme are putting money towards helping bumblebee bats. They are “the only global conservation initiative to focus specifically on threatened species that represent a significant amount of unique evolutionary history”. If you’d like to read more about this little creature, or support the fight for them , then click here: Edge of Existence Blog.
The bat above is of course named after the bumblebee. Bees are probably the most important creatures in the world to us, as they are the major pollinators of our food crops. Without bees, we would starve.
And they are threatened by more than 12 factors – including air pollution, fungal diseases, the varroa mite invading colonies, and loss of wildflower habitats.
HELP A BEE! If you have any space at all, a window box, a patch of uncultivated garden – you, yes YOU can help protect some bees from being endangered – plant some wildflowers, plant a flowering shrub… leave a patch of garden to grow wild!
Below is a palindrome or reversible poem about bees – written and made by me into a hanging mobile for a poetry exhibition I organised at the Bristol Poetry Festival 2009. It can be read downwards – or upwards, and still make sense.
Not, I hasten to add, that I ever slap a bee. Bees do not sting unless threatened. Bumblebees are even less likely to sting. The poem mobile is just a bit of fun!
There is a bee poem in my book, Animal Magic.
See you tomorrow for the threatened, amazing animal or animals beginning with the letter ‘C’!
Read about chemicals possibly damaging bees here at the BBC: BBC.
Global Bee Colony Disorders and Other Threats to Insect Pollinators [March 2011] United Nations Environment Programme [Online] Accessed September 2011. Available from: http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=
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© Liz Brownlee