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Help us to count the UK’s bumblebees

Bumblebees are in crisis. We are leading the fight to secure their future.

If we can understand the reasons why they are declining, we can work towards stopping and reversing this. Some of the key questions we need to answer to help us understand are: Where are the remaining bumblebees? How many are there? And what are they doing?

You can help!

There are currently three different ways that you can help us gather data and track the UK’s bumblebees:

A group of staff and volunteers standing in a field of wildflowers as they look for bumblebees.
A close-up of a Great Yellow bumblebee with large, round pollen baskets on its hind legs. The bumblebee is feeding on a bright purple flower.

Pieter Haringsma

BeeWalk

This is the national recording scheme which monitors the abundance of bumblebees across Britain (Ireland and Northern Ireland run an equivalent scheme). The scheme relies on over 800 volunteers, just like you, who identify and count the bumblebees that they see on a fixed walking route of around 1 to 2km. Each BeeWalk route is walked at least once a month from March to October.

Anyone with basic bumblebee identification knowledge, or the desire to gain these skills through our training sessions or resources, can become a BeeWalker. After you have decided where your route will be and registered it with us, each monthly walk only takes about an hour or two followed by another 20 minutes or less to submit your sightings to the BeeWalk website.

A project officer kneeling in the long grass and reading a bumblebee ID book.

UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS)

This monitoring scheme focuses on a range of flower-visiting insects and can measure trends in wider pollinator populations across the UK. Data from BeeWalk is feeding into this scheme, but anyone can contribute directly to the scheme, either by carrying out short Flower-Insect Timed Counts (watch a patch of flowers for 10 minutes and see what turns up) or by monitoring a 1km square.

iRecord

To record bumblebees and other wildlife on a more casual basis, go to the iRecord website. If you have one, include a photo of the bumblebee that you have seen to allow the iRecord experts to verify your sighting.

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A field of wildflowers. In the distance are three people walking.

BeeWalk website

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A close-up of a Buff-tailed bumblebee in mid-flight with its long tongue sticking out.

UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme

Related

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A Buff-tailed bumblebee feeding on the purple flowers of lavender.

Identifying bumblebees

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A group of volunteers looking for bumblebees in the countryside. The volunteers are standing on a hill, and in the background is farmland and green trees.

Attend an event

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A Moss carder bumblebee feeding on a bright yellow flower.

Scientific research