Bumblebee walk – enjoyable citizen science stroll!

March 24, 2012

in Bumblebees and their ecology

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The Bumblebee Conservation Trust- Bumblebee Walk 2012

Our bumblebee survey, BeeWalk, is now in entering its third season. The last two seasons have been hugely successful with the recruitment of 125 enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. However, in order to get effectively monitor populations across all UK regions, we need to your help!

Why walk for bees?

While previous bumblebee surveys have focused on collating individual records in order to accurately map bumblebee distributions, BeeWalk will be the first scheme to enable us to collect bumblebee abundance data.

This information is integral to monitoring bumblebee population changes and will allow us to detect early warning signs of population declines. All data collected will contribute to important long-term monitoring of bumblebee populations in response to climate and land-use change.

BeeWalk will be invaluable in helping us to conserve this dramatically declining and much-loved group of buzzing insects.

Methodology: not only is it useful, it’s also good fun!

Volunteers will walk a 1-2km route of their own choosing once a month between March and October recording all of the bumblebee species and the number of each species they see. If you are interested in joining this survey, please read carefully through the BeeWalk starter pack (attached) which includes recording sheets and detailed instructions. You could choose to upgrade to BeeWalk Pro (info also attached), a more detailed survey in which the flowers that the bees are foraging on are also recorded.

If you feel that you can fully commit to this important survey, email us with your name and address at: beewalk@bumblebeeconservation.org

With your help, we’ll gather enough information on bumblebee populations to steer conservation efforts in the right direction.


If you would like to register and make use of your morning or afternoon stroll, giving it some purpose, adding interest to your stroll, learning new bumblebee identification skills and helping science! Please enrol.

Useful bumblebee identification book

Obtain your Bumblebee Walk 2012 pack below (Bumblebee Conservation Trust)

There are a few simple steps to take in order to begin your survey
1.      Follow the instructions in the starter pack to establish your BeeWalk transect. You must then either post your F1 form and map to the address provided OR complete the electronic F1 form in the excel spreadsheet provided (BeeWalk.xls)
2.      In order to officially register your transect you then need to then click on this link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DZVZL22
where you will be asked to fill in some basic details (name, transect name etc) and take a bumblebee id quiz. The quiz takes approx. 20 mins and I strongly recommend that you study and use the BeeWalk ID Sheet (attached).
PLEASE NOTE: We FULLY realise that the majority of you are bumblebee id beginners and will not know the answers to most of the questions. You will have the opportunity to take the quiz again at a later date to see if regular surveying has improved your id skills. We are simply using it as a measure of which species volunteers find it most difficult to recognise. Don’t let it put you off, just have a go and do your best! When you are in the field you will be encouraged to note down the names of those species you recognise and mark anything else down as “unknown.”
3.      You are now ready to begin your BeeWalk survey! Again, follow the instructions in the starter pack for monthly recording. We ask that you send us your results as regularly as possible either by post using the address provided OR by filling out the F2 form in the BeeWalk.xls spreadsheet (attached).
 Thank you again for your willingness to walk for bumblebee conservation! We hope to provide you with regular updates on the survey and you will also be invited to join the BeeWalk Google group, a buzzing online forum where volunteers share knowledge, experience and bumblebee news!
If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to email me at l.m.casey@stir.ac.uk
Good luck and Happy BeeWalking!
Kind regards,
Leanne Casey
BBCT Citizen Science Officer
BeeWalk_Pack                          BeeWalkPro                       BeeWalkIDSheet                                   BeeWalkRecords_nologo

Read more articles about the bumblebee nest box

For more information and to help save bumblebees join the Bumblebee Conservation Trust at Stirling University


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