Covid-19 update - 27th March 2020 - updated as official advice changes
Official guidance from the 23rd March 2020 is to stay at home and to only go out for food, health reasons, or work (but only if you cannot work from home). You should not carry out a BeeWalk unless you can do so without leaving your property. Your health, and the health of those around you, is more important than bumblebee recording and you should not do anything to put it at risk.
If you spot a bumblebee you can record general sightings on the iRecord website or app, either as a one-off record or recording all your sightings. You can also carry out a Flower-Insect-Timed (FIT) count on your property. If you use social media, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust would love to see pictures or videos of bumblebees in your gardens - Twitter @BumblebeeTrust, Facebook @BumblebeeConservationTrust, or Instagram @BumblebeeConservationTrust.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust have taken the decision to cancel all public events up to the 1st June, with immediate effect. This date is under review and events will not restart until the situation has improved. Unfortunately this includes cancelling a lot of BeeWalk ID training days. We’re keen to make sure that no-one misses out because of these cancellations and any cancelled events will be at the front of the queue for re-bookings once activities start up again. We’ll also be investigating creative ways to run training events virtually over the internet for the duration of this situation. For the time being, we have a video of a basic training day on the Trust’s Youtube channel here, and short video tutorials here, and more on the resources page of the BeeWalk website.
Keep safe, and we look forward to seeing you all again once the crisis is over
The BeeWalk Team
Want to join in? Register here!
Bumblebees are icons of the British summer, but they’re in trouble. Bumblebees are declining across the country (we’ve already lost two species), and to better understand the reasons why, we need data – lots of data – on where we can find the remaining bees, how many there are and what they’re doing.
That’s where BeeWalk comes in. BeeWalk is a national recording scheme run by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to monitor the abundance of bumblebees on transects across the country. These transects would be impossible without volunteers, who identify and count the bumblebees they see on a monthly walk along a set route from March to October.
Anyone can become a BeeWalker – all you need is a spare hour or so every month to walk a fixed route of about a mile (you choose where it goes), and send us your sightings. The information collected by BeeWalk volunteers is integral to monitoring how bumblebee populations change through time, and will allow us to detect early warning signs of population declines. All data collected will contribute to important long-term monitoring of bumblebee population changes in response to changes in land-use and climate change, and, ultimately, to informing how we manage the countryside.
We hope you’ll be able to join in – without the fundamental information provided by volunteers across the country, we’re fighting blind in the struggle to reverse the plight of the bumblebee.
If you're in Ireland, either Northern or the Republic, the National Biodiversity Data Centre run an equivalent scheme at http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/record-biodiversity/surveys/bumblebee-monitoring-scheme/