Rare bee found in Kent

The Shrill Carder Bee (Bombus sylvarum) has been spotted for the first time on the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent

Charity Buglife is thrilled this seldom seen bee has been found on the important wildlife site of Swanscombe Peninsula. Its numbers had declined hugely during the 20th century. It was spotted by keen wildlife photographer and amateur naturalist, Richard Dowling

The rare Shrill Carder Bee has been found to be flourishing on the Swanscombe Peninsula, one of the UK's most important threatened wildlife sites.

Jamie Robins of the charity Buglife says it's great news: 'We've known for years how important Swanscombe is, with over 2,000 species of invertebrate, including 200 of conservation concern. To find the Shrill Carder Bee here shows that this wildlife site is going from strength to strength - each year we're finding out more about just how essential it is that we protect this species.'

Buglife is asking visitors to the popular Swanscombe green space this month to keep an eye out for more Shrill Carder Bees, as September is when newly emerged queens are flying and looking for places to hibernate. Having more recorded sightings of Shrill Carder Bees also helps confirm how important the Swanscombe Peninsula is to its survival in the south east region of England.

Swanscombe Peninsula wildlife site in North Kent was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 2021.