Wheal Buzzy

Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is home to over 190 species of bee and a startling 120 of these are solitary mining bees.

A solitary mining bee - also known as a digger bee – is a gentle loner that nests in burrows in the ground and Cornwall AONB has larger populations than anywhere else in the UK.

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There are over 20 other endangered and nationally-scarce species too, but their habitats have declined by over 50% in the last 25 years.

Now the Cornwall AONB Partnership has received £56,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a pioneering new project, called Wheal Buzzy.  Wheal Buzzy aims to enhance conditions for mining bees in West Penwith, the Lizard, St Agnes and North Cornwall.  The plan is to create 22 hectares of habitat for mining bees, working with partners on 16 different sites.

There will be opportunities for local people to volunteer to share the enjoyment of planting pollinator-friendly plants that will improve foraging opportunities for our vulnerable mining bees.

Over the coming months, there will be guided walks and courses to learn how to identify and record mining bees across Cornwall.

And there will be plenty of advice, too, for local schools and higher educational institutions. They can learn about mining bee habitats through coursework and educational resources, as well as how to improve school grounds or community spaces.