photo of bumblebee and flower

Bee surveys - record bees and help science

Bee surveys for beginners up to experts. Your bee sightings will help scientists get a better understanding of the numbers and species that we need to protect.
  Published:  02 Jul 2018    |      3 minute read

Friends of the Earth's Great British Bee Count is over for another year. Now we're busy verifying the bees you’ve identified, so we can contribute thousands of sightings to research.

Caught the bug for taking photos of bees? If you would like to continue helping scientific research, we've picked some of our favourite schemes.

If you've got the Great British Bee Count app, you can still use it as a bee identification guide. Still not got it? Download Great British Bee Count for Android or Great British Bee Count for iOS.

1. Flower Insect Timed Count

Level: Bee-ginner - Experienced

Species: All bee species and other pollinating insects

Get involved: Via the website

Help the government’s new Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS) by taking part in the ‘Flower Insect Timed Count’ (FIT).This is a quick and easy way to survey the pollinators on your patch.

It’s perfect for beginners, since you don’t need to identify particular species. It’s a great way to learn about pollinator diversity too.

Simply pick a patch of flowers and record the types of pollinators that visit within a 10 minute period. Full guidance and survey forms are provided on the Pollinator Monitoring Scheme website.

Common carder bee, Bucks - Image: David Podmore
Common carder bee, Bucks - Image: David Podmore
Credit: David Podmore

2. iRecord

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Species: All bee species and much more besides

Get involved: Via the website or app

If you know the species of bees you’ve seen, you can still submit your photos and records to iRecord, where they will be verified by National experts. These records will feed into the National Biodiversity Network Atlas, where - like the verified Great British Bee Count records-they will also be taken up by the Pollinator Monitoring Scheme.

If you’re not confident in identifying bees, you can seek advice from the experts at iSpot or the UK Bees, Wasps and Ants Facebook page to identify your find from a photo, then upload it to iRecord once you have your answer.

Buff tailed bumblebee
Buff tailed bumblebee
Credit: Chloe Potts / Great British Bee Count

3. Blooms for Bees

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Species: Bumblebees

Get involved: Via the app

The Blooms for Bees citizen science app allows you to survey the bumblebees on your garden or allotment flowers to help better understand which flowers bumblebees like to visit. The app and website include a detailed ID guide to the UK’s bumblebee species.

Early bumblebee on blackberry
Early bumblebee on blackberry
Credit: George Smith / Great British Bee Count 2018

4. Bee Walks

Level: Experienced

Species: Bumblebees

Get involved: Via the website

If you’re an experienced bumblebee identifier, you can help the Bumblebee Conservation Trust assess the state of the UK’s bumblebees by taking a monthly BeeWalk. Training events are also provided if you’d like to arm yourself with the ID skills to take part.

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