Bee Palace

Citizen science: bee projects to take part in in 2018

April 17th, 2018

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Having a bee or insect house in your garden is something easy that you can do to give mother nature a massive helping hand. If, like us, you’ve found yourself whiling away many a warm afternoon watching the bees fly in and out, you’ll know that they provide as much entertainment value as they benefit our wildlife. 

There are now some really interesting citizen science projects which are harnessing the power of us bee-watchers and wildlife enthusiasts to gather data so as to better understand our ecosystems, so if having a beepalace has whetted your appetite for this kind of thing, we’ve found several bee-centred projects which are in search of volunteers to gather that all important information.

Some of them are ongoing, some slated for a specific day, but all of them contribute greatly to understanding of the importance of our pollinators:

1.Blooms for Bees


We spoke to Blooms for Bees last year and they’ve gathered a lot of data, but more is always welcome! This project, in conjunction with Coventry University aims to discover which plants are most beneficial to bumblebees and it’s easy to participate: register, download the app and pick your time to watch some flowers in your garden.

  1. Air Bee ‘n Bee


Sussex University has long been interested in bee-related research and this latest project is right up our alley: they’re researching habitats for solitary bees and trying to ascertain which accommodations most appeal to red mason bees and leafcutter bees. It’s a hands-on project: they ask participants to make two bee hotels from easy-to-find household items and then monitor them weekly. The trial actually starts this coming week, so they *may* still be time to register if you’re quick! This is a particularly great one for kids.

  1. Bee Walk


The Bumblebee Conservation Trust have been doing this research project for a few years now and it’s on again for 2018: they’re asking people to choose a 2km route, walk it weekly and record any bumblebees you see on the way. So, it’s a great way to keep fit, improve your bumblebee identification skills and help further our understanding of our wildlife.

  1. The Great British Bee Count

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If a regular commitment is a bit of a, well, a commitment, Friends of the Earth are once again running a similar scheme to the RSPB’s Bird Count. Between 17 May and 30 June they’re asking for help in conducting surveys to see how many different bees are spotted in our gardens. There is of course an App for this, which will be available from 17 May and there are more details on the website, here.

Our pollinators aren’t just the sound of summer, they’re absolutely vital to our ecosystem. It’s brilliant that so many organisations are starting to encourage the public to get more acquainted with the wide range of species of bees. Do you think you’ll participate in one of these projects this year?



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