The Shrill Carder Bee is one of the rarest in the UK and also one of the smallest. It is straw-coloured with a reddish-orange tail, a black band between the wings and black stripes on the abdomen. It also has a high-pitched buzz.
Why does it need protecting?
It is one of the UK’s most threatened bumble bees, having declined dramatically in the 20th century. It is now found in only a very few areas in southern England and Wales, one of which is Monmouthshire. It is identified in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan as a Priority Species requiring conservation action.
What habitats does it need?
It needs flower rich grassland. The loss of traditional meadows is contributing to its decline, although many wildflower meadows remain in the AONB.
Why we chose it?
The Shrill Carder Bee is an excellent way to open up discussions about meadows, flowers and pollinators. Bee surveys are already used by Herefordshire Meadows members to show the success of meadow restoration projects. We can also link to the Buglifes B-lines project in the lower Wye and on the Woolhope Dome.