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Many people will be aware that bumblebees are in the main, declining, as are other pollinating insects. Research plays a vital part in answering questions and contributing to the knowledge pool. Professional bee researchers are few in number, many work in universities where they have other duties besides research. This is were citizen science can contribute. There are two surveys you may wish to get involved with:
Like any survey that involves living organisms, whether it be flowers, animals or insects, it helps to know what it is you have seen! So if you want to learn more about bumblebees, then please upload your digital photos to BeeWatch. Photos will be identified by an expert and feedback will be provided to help to improve your knowledge and identification skills. Your important records will contribute to the understanding of the distribution of bumblebees in the UK. Then you may be in a better position to enrol onto another survey when your newly acquired skills can be put to good use!
Bee Walk (or leisurely stroll spotting bumblebees!)
This survey scheme helps us to monitor bumblebee population changes and will allow us to detect early warning signs of population declines. It is also a very pleasant way to spend an hour or two on a sunny day.
In order to collect this important information our volunteers themselves pick a fixed-route of 1-2km and record what they see on each monthly walk.
This survey would be impossible without the help of volunteers. If you would like to take part, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about bumblebee ecology and their nests
For more information about the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and their work