Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Cornwall AONB, the Wheal Buzzy Project is a unique and innovative project, placing people at the heart of mining bee conservation. Solitary bees, in particular mining bees, are excellent pollinators and favour sites like abandoned mines. There are more than 190 species of bee in Cornwall, with 120 being solitary, which are so named because, unlike honeybees and bumblebees, they do not live in colonies.
What the project will do
The Cornish AONB is of national significance for its bee fauna. However bees, such as mining bees, are in startling decline across Cornwall. The Wheal Buzzy Project will work against these threats, by bringing together land owners and communities to create flower-rich habitats for solitary bees across the AONB including West Penwith, part of the Lizard, Godrevy Head to St Agnes and North Cornwall.
This will work be done in two ways: -
Firstly, by influencing landowners across the AONB on the management of their land to better protect solitary bees as well by planting new wildflower meadows by agreement with the National Trust, Town and Parish Councils, churches and community groups, including Bosavern Community Farm, Steeple Woodland Local Nature Reserve and St Ives Community Orchard groups. 22 hectares of land will be improved for bees on 16 different sites across the AONB.
Secondly, by engaging with the public to help us stop the decline in solitary bees by undertaking recording surveys of iconic bees, working with schools to improve their grounds, developing educational resources and facilitating school visits to mine sites, setting up Bee Healthy Guided Walks and adopting mine sites to maintain their important habitat.
By working in these ways we will help connect people with nature, improve people’s health and wellbeing, be able to undertake focused conservation work that connects across wider landscapes, counter the effects of damaging human activities and recognise the vital role lesser known pollinators play in sustaining and improving life on earth.
Thanks to National Lottery Players and the Heritage Lottery Fund, Wheal Buzzy is funded through to May 2020 with plenty of opportunity for local people and our visitors to get involved.
We are able to offer participation on our Bee Healthy Walks Programme, opportunities to learn more about solitary bees as well as help us to plant and develop some of the new meadow sites across the AONB