Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Surveying bumblebees - Sheffield University Conservation Volunteers

Guest post by Amruta Tendolkar (Sheffield University Conservation Volunteers)

As a sequel to the Sphagnum moss workshop that we did with the Moors for the Future, 15 of us headed to Longshaw Estate on Saturday to learn how to identify and survey bumblebees.

SUCV looking for bees!

Loss of flowers for foraging, loss of suitable nest sites and use of pesticides have led to the rapid decline of many bumblebee species in Britain. Bumblebees are better pollinators than most other species of bees because they can travel up to 2km from their nests in search of flowers and their tongues are much varied in length. Hence, it is essential to save them.

Studying bumblebee specimens before heading out

For this reason, Moors for the Future has initiated surveys to note down the abundance of bumblebees around moorland. They have chosen three species which are easy to identify and will be interesting to track in response to climate change. The morning session gave us pointers to identify these three bumblebee species and a few others commonly found in the area.In the afternoon, we took a walk around Longshaw Estate in search of some bees. 
Bumblebee survey materials

Since it is quite early for them to come out of hibernation, we could spot only two. However, the weather was sunny and everyone had a great time!

SUCV taking a well earned break at the end of the day
Thanks to everyone who came for the workshop and a big thank you to Tom, for conducting it.