The Latest Buzz

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Read All The Latest News Regarding Bumblebees In New Zealand Today

Letter to All NZBCT Members.

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A WORD FROM BUZZLES , OUR OWN TRUST'S NEWS AND VIEWS MESSENGER.

Dear Supporting Member,

We thought it time that we gave our valued members an update on where we have’ buzzed’ from and where we are currently ‘buzzing’ to particularly as we get closer to our first birthday.

A recap why we are here. Co-founder Geoff Brunsden has been passionately working with wildflowers for over 30 years now in NZ and always promoted them for their super qualities in providing fabulous food for bees and their pollinator friends. During one of his and wife Liz’s English garden roaming’s they came across the existence of the UK Bumblebee Conservation Trust and “bingo” the seed was sown to set up a similar here in NZ. We all knew bees and their friends were in trouble but there wasn’t any real way to get out a message to all New Zealanders.

So, like the UK it was decided that the Bumblebee was the most passive , cute and iconic pollinator there was to help spread the word in the most fun loving way. This is where Helen Johnson stepped in. Seeing a little media rambling about Geoff’s wishes she tracked him down and in the nicest way ‘made it happen’ to get our NZ trust up and running. So we did it and here we are thanks to your support and the dedicated special funding of The Wright Foundation and Zonda Beneficial’s.

But we have a long way to go. We look now at our UK counterpart who are now 10 years old ! However being so young we are encouraged by the founder of the UK Trust Dave Goulson who says;

“The early days were tough. We had no staff just a handful of volunteers and zero experience as to run the whole thing.” But thanks to a funding grant and dedicated staff they got their feet on the ground says Dave.

To date;
  • We have had our commissioned ‘Bumblebee song’ recorded and the ‘special dance’ videoed-check it out on our web.
  • The first of many educational ‘school’ activity boxes is being developed and produced by ‘The House of Science’ in Tauranga-due to be rolled out during Autumn.
  • Dr Barry Donovan, our ‘Bee expert’ has been brilliant in assisting us answering the questions that members and site visitors send us.
  • We have a media launch about to roll out during March to raise our profile even more.
  • NZBCT has developed a face-book which we are endeavouring to keep active. Do send us photos that we can add to our album.
  • Plans are underway with a leading New Zealand owned supermarket chain to be involved with an in-store marketing activity this year.
  • NZBCT have an agreement with Creative Woodcraft where we receive a commission for every bumblebee that is purchase via our website www.nzbct.org.nz.
So many other ideas and plans which will come to fruition once we can increase our membership numbers.

Thank you from us and the bumble bees for your support.

MEDIA RELEASE

Kiwis urged to plant flowers in mission to conserve and grow our bumblebees

Tauranga, 28 March 2017:New Zealanders are being urged to plant bulbs, wildflowers, herbs, vegetables and trees in their gardens this autumn as part of the mission to preserve the bumblebee.

The New Zealand Bumblebee Conservation Trust (NZBCT) was created in 2016 to educate New Zealanders about the action required to protect our bumblebees for the continued production of food crops, now and in the future. Its goal is to ensure that New Zealand is continually plentiful in bumblebees and other pollinator insects.  

Co-founder Geoff Brunsden says one of the best ways to achieve this is to plant wildflowers – and that’s something everyone can do, wherever they live.

“Wildflowers create a beneficial and varied food source for bumblebees,” says Geoff, who is New Zealand’s leading exotic wildflower landscaping expert and has worked with promoting wildflowers for bees and landscape beautification for 35 years.

“Bumblebees are one of the best pollinators on the planet. They are 50 times more effective at pollinating than honeybees, and many Kiwis don’t realise how crucial they are to our food crops.

“Extinction would see a dramatic decline in the whole food production industry, and loss of variety of crops. Food prices would increase and the country would be more reliant on imports, which in turn would further increase food costs.”

Geoff and NZBCT co-founder Helen Johnson are on a journey to educate New Zealanders on the vital importance of the bumblebee, and say it’s easy to take action now and make a difference.

“Autumn is a great time to sow wildflowers. These will grow all through winter and in early spring, popping up in August, which is the perfect time for bumblebees when food is scarce,” says Geoff.

“March and April are the perfect months to plant bulbs in your garden, which will begin to flower in mid to late winter. Bulbs, such as daffodils, bluebells and crocus are easy – you just plant them and then let them be.”

It’s not necessary to have a large garden to make a difference – even those living in apartments or retirement villages can plant herbs or flowers in pots.

“NZBCT encourages the sowing of any type of flower, all year round,” says Geoff.

“Bee-friendly, nectar-rich flowers such as lavender, borage, geraniums, herbs and wildflowers, are fantastic for bumblebees.
Geoff also encourages letting your garden go to seed, which provides a critical resource for bumblebees, especially at the end of winter when food is harder to find. 

Pollinators play a crucial role in the food chain and the survival of mankind, but they are under threat due to a variety of factors.

“New Zealand experts are expressing concern about the number of bumblebees due to a ’perfect storm’ of factors including reduced greenscape, disease, increasing use of toxic pesticide spray, loss of food resources, genetic modification of seeds and flowers, pests, and even some of today’s farming practices,” says NZBCT co-founder Helen.

“Our landscape has transformed from an insects’ paradise into clay and concrete.

“What we’re doing at the NZBCT is encouraging people to look at bumblebees and pollinators in a new light and understand the significant contribution they make to the horticultural industry and the production of food crops.

“Something you can do to make a difference straight away is to plant some flowering trees or herbs in a corner of your garden, and it will become a haven for bumblebees”.

To find out more about the NZBCT, or become a member, please go to www.nzbct.org.nz
For images or more information, please contact: 

Ellen Irvine, Blink Public Relations
Mob: 021 305 505 Email: ellen@blinkpr.co.nz

MEDIA RELEASE

Song launched to educate on importance of the bumblebee

Tauranga, 24 March 2017: The New Zealand Bumblebee Conservation Trust (NZBCT) has launched a children’s song to educate the next generation on the critical importance of the bumblebee in the long-term preservation of our planet.

NZBCT was created in 2016 to educate New Zealanders about the action required to protect our bumblebees for the continued production of food crops, now and in the future. Its goal is to ensure that New Zealand is continually plentiful in bumblebees and other pollinator insects.  

The Bumblebee Song, with its lyrics teaching kids about the importance of taking care of the bumblebee and its role pollinating food crops and flowers, is the latest initiative in this mission to educate Kiwis. 

NZBCT co-founder Helen Johnson hopes the song will ultimately be sung by children in every primary school in New Zealand, with children taking home the awareness to their parents and grandparents.

“The trust is primarily about education, so getting the message out through schools makes perfect sense,” says Helen.
“Bumblebees are one of the best pollinators on the planet. They are 50 times more effective at pollinating than honeybees, and many Kiwis don’t realise how crucial they are to our food crops.”

The Bumblebee Song was composed and written by Christchurch-based internationally renowned musical play expert Julie Wylie, who was commissioned by NZBCT for the project. 

“Julie has composed a wide range of music resources and worked with children and families, students, teachers and therapists for over 30 years, developing her philosophy of musical play,” says Helen.

“She was the perfect person to create a song which would resonate with children, and capture in age-appropriate lyrics the essence of what NZBCT is about.”

The song has been recorded at Orange Studios in Christchurch, with vocal and instrumental musicians contributing their time.
An accompanying dance was choreographed by Jacqueline Jones, from Jacqueline Jones School of Dance, which resulted in the production of a music video, featuring children from a Christchurch dance school.

A video has been created and is available to view on the NZBCT website http://www.nzbct.org.nz/young-members, and on YouTube.
The lyrics and sheet music are available to download on the Bumblekids page of the NZBCT website, and Helen encourages teachers and anyone who works with children to share, play and sing the song.

The Bumblebee Song lyrics:

Bumblebees, bumblebees, buzzing all around the flowering apricot trees,

Bumblebees, and busy bees, pollinating all of the flowers.

Did you know that bumblebees pollinate our flowers? Did you know they pollinate our food crops as well?

We need to take care of the bumblebees, our very busy busy bumblebees.

Bumblebees, bumblebees, buzzing all around the flowers and trees.

Bumblebees and busy bees, pollinating all of the flowers.

For images or more information, please contact: 

Ellen Irvine, Blink Public Relations
Mob: 021 305 505 Email: ellen@blinkpr.co.nz
See the chat with NZ Bumblee Conservation Trust Co-founder Geoff Brunsden’

Get in touch with us for more information today bumblebuzz@nzbct.org.nz

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