THEY are a vital species to the planet whose plight had sparked a global call for action.
But it seems the sweltering summer may have been a ray of sunshine for the local bee population, after a major study into bee numbers revealed they were being see in far greater numbers than in recent years.
The news came as a rising city opera star is hoping to create a buzz about bee conservation.
Soprano Natasha Day is to take centre stage at the Concert for Bees, an event aimed at raising money to help fund work to create new flower-rich habitats and educate youngsters about the problems facing the bee and its importance to the ecosystem.
A spokesman for The Bumblebee Conservation Trust said: “The full analysis of our yearly Bee Walks Surveys, which take place between March and October, will not be available until early next year, but anecdotal evidence would suggest that the warm weather has given a boost to the populations, with larger numbers being recorded than at the same times last year.”
Environmentalists around the world have called for urgent action to tackle the sharp decline of global bee populations, which have seen more than 30 per cent of honeybee colonies disappearing each year since 2006. In June, the UK government announced an “urgent and comprehensive review” of the problem.
Natasha, a former George Watson’s student, who grew up in Balerno, will be singing a 28-minute themed piece called St Ambrose and the Bees, created for the event by Leith-based composer Helene Grosvenor.
The 26-year-old has just been awarded her second scholarship to the Royal College of Music, to study at the Benjamin Britten International Opera School.
Natasha said: “There’s a huge need to support bees. We would not survive without them and the work they do pollinating the plants which put food on our plates.
“One of the most important steps is ensuring the younger generation learn about them – how we can help them by growing more flowers or even by becoming beekeepers.”
The concert, organised by the Edinburgh and Midlothian Beekeepers Association and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, is being held at Greyfriars Tolbooth and Highland Kirk on Friday October 25.