As today is World Honey Bee Day, it seemed appropriate to finish a post I started in July! What can I say, I’m a slow blogger 🙂
Our travels this summer took us to Svalbard. The most notable difference for us between Svalbard and our home in Scotland were the bees.
Bees, our Longyearbyen guide told us, are not seen in Svalbard. Coulson et al. (2014) reported that any honey bees found in Svalbard are classed as “accidental migrants”, with the bumblebee completely absent from the archipelago.
The contrast was most strongly demonstrated the day after we returned home. As we walked under the lime trees beside the River Tyne in Haddington, each tree hummed with a variety of pollinators, including honey and bumblebees [55.954270, -2.772102 to 55.951603, -2.773239].
Below is the recording I made as I walked by the river. Note that I started giggling as the bagpipes started up, further proof, if proof was needed, that I was recording in Scotland!
— Bryden McKinnie (@JacobiteHoney) July 23, 2016
Three cheers for East Lothian bees, and it is lovely to be home!
Coulson, S.J., Convey, P., Aakra, K., Aarvik, L., Ávila-Jiménez, M.L., Babenko, A., Biersma, E.M., Boström, S., Brittain, J.E., Carlsson, A.M. and Christoffersen, K. (2014). The terrestrial and freshwater invertebrate biodiversity of the archipelagoes of the Barents Sea; Svalbard, Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 68, pp.440-470.