Long-horned Bee project
Kernow Ecology is
working as a partnership with local landowners and conservation charities to help conserve The Long-horned bee in Cornwall.
In 2016 over 1000 wildflower plugs were grown by Kernow Ecology and planted on 4 sites of total 4 ha. The Long-horned bee is nationally notable and a BAP priority species.
See video eucera
of 2017 report
population of Cornish Long-horned Bee has declined from 24 to just 6
sites (75% decrease). The key sites have all been assessed as
The greatest threat is limited foraging resources.
Flowering Legumes are rare, either through abandonment of cliff-top
grazing, summer grazing or intensive agriculture.
Further threats are coastal erosion, resulting in nest site destruction
and loss of flower-rich coastal edge habitats.
narrow range of Legume Fabaceae species dominated foraging visits and
pollen samples. Kidney vetch Anthyllis vulneraria,
pea Lathyrus sylvestris,
Meadow vetchling Lathyrus
pratensis and White
clover Trifolium repens.
The study found that the bee does use pollen from
other plant families but it is suspected this is caused by lack of
Continuity of flowering Legume species are
needed for 3 - 6 weeks. Within the peak foraging period of about 3
weeks, the bee requires both early flowering Legumes and late flowering
Legumes. Most Cornish sites had one or the other, rather than both.
bee generally uses south facing soft clay or loess cliffs for nesting,
although other aspects can be used. The bee creates substantial nests
and may be reluctant to invest in creating new
nest networks. This could make the bee less adaptable and more vulnerable to
Foraging range is estimated at 700m.
(May to August) grazing or cutting should not take place on flowering
Legume habitats within 0m to 700m of nest sites.
Create or boost areas of mass flowering vetches 'super-peas', to
Common vetch Vicia
sativa and Meadow vetchling Lathyrus pratensis.
possible, also include Everlasting pea Lathyrus sylvestris
vetch Vicia sepium
to extend flowering period.
White clover Trifolium repens is recommended but should be used in combination with
habitats rich in Kidney vetch Anthyllis vulneraria.
details of survey
Long-horned Bee in Cornwall, its
ecology and preferences
for land managers