Scarce bee discovered in the Vale of Glamorgan
The Vale Local Nature Partnership and the Vale Of Glamorgan Council are thrilled to report that two new populations of the Carrot Mining Bee (Andrena nitidiuscula) have been discovered at Porthkerry and Cosmeston Lakes country parks in the County.
Formerly restricted to southern counties of England, the Carrot Mining Bee was first discovered in Wales in July 2020 when a population of this scarce bee was found at Lavernock Point Local Nature Reserve near Penarth.
Two additional populations have now been found at Porthkerry and Cosmeston Lakes country parks, taking the total number of known sites for this bee in Wales to three, all within the Vale of Glamorgan.
The discoveries were made by local entomologist Liam Olds while conducting invertebrate surveys for the Vale’s Local Nature Partnership, as part of a joint project with the Vale of Glamorgan Council, to introduce conservation grazing into the two country parks.
The Carrot Mining Bee is just one of around 190 bee species known from Wales and is so-called because of its strong association with the flowers of Wild Carrot, from which it collects pollen.
Considered scarce in Britain, the Carrot Mining Bee has now been discovered at three sites in the Vale of Glamorgan, the only county in Wales to record sightings.
The Conservation Grazing project, funded by the Welsh Government’s Local Places for Nature grant aims to enhance and maintain the biodiversity of these vital grassland habitats.
Since the 1930s we have lost over 97 per cent of our wildflower-rich meadows and reintroducing herbivores such as cattle and sheep to graze our meadows will help limit this decline.
More information is available about the Rewilding Project here.
Liam Olds, the entomologist who made the discoveries said: “The discovery of this scarce bee at two country parks within the Vale of Glamorgan is unexpected but very exciting and emphasises the important wildlife value of these country parks.
"The Vale of Glamorgan is clearly a special place for the Carrot Mining Bee and hopefully this scarce bee will continue to flourish and spread throughout the county.”
Emily Shaw, Vale Local Nature Partnership Co-ordinator said: “As the only county in Wales to record this scarce bee, the discovery highlights how little is known about nature in the Vale of Glamorgan and in Wales.
"The Welsh Government’s Local Places for Nature fund has been an invaluable support for the Local Nature Partnership. These projects are not only helping to increase and support local biodiversity, but they are also improving our understanding and awareness of threatened species, helping to inform future conservation management priorities in the Vale.”
Mel Stewart, Porthkerry Ranger, said: “The discovery of the Carrot Mining Bee, alongside lots of new species for the park, has been in part due to the ‘rewilding’ project on the old golf course.
"The creation of 12 new ponds, new shrub and plug planting, allowing natural regeneration and the meadow makers project, funded through the LNP last year, has created a range of fantastically biodiverse habitats on a once barren golf course.”
The Vale’s Local Nature Partnership are looking for projects which will enhance biodiversity and promote the resilience of ecosystems. The LNP has a capital fund which can be used for practical projects. Small grants (up to £1000) are available to purchase materials and equipment to help support wildlife project work in the Vale of Glamorgan.
To apply, please complete and return an application form.
Your application will be considered by the Vale’s LNP Grants Panel, comprising of members of the Vale’s LNP Steering Group. The panel will review all applications once the deadline has passed.