Covid-19 update - 15th May 2020 - updated as official advice changes
From the 13th May 2020 there has been a significant divergence in restrictions on outdoor activity between nations. In ENGLAND (from the 13th May onwards), SCOTLAND (from the 29th May onwards) and WALES (from the 1st June onwards) these measures now allow more exercise outdoors as well as some travel to open spaces, as long as rules on social distancing are followed.
As a result of this policy shift the Bumblebee Conservation Trust have decided that BeeWalk transect recording can resume across Great Britain. You should only walk your transect alone or with members of your household, and you must stay at least 2 metres from anyone else at all times. Further nation-specific official advice on remaining safe outdoors can be found here for England, here for Scotland, and here for Wales.
- Official guidance should be followed at all times.
- Anyone ‘self-isolating’ or ‘shielding’ should not resume walking their transect.
- In SCOTLAND and WALES, official advice is to only travel up to five miles from your home
- Some sites may be closed, have their car parks closed, or be subject to other restrictions to ensure public safety. You should check that landowners/managers are happy for you to resume surveying if appropriate.
- If your transect is set up so that the walk itself or the journey to/from the site would be difficult to carry out while maintaining social distancing, then you should not resume your BeeWalk at that site.
- No-one should resume BeeWalk unless they feel absolutely comfortable doing so. There is no pressure to resume walking your transects until you feel comfortable.
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. 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/