Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Bumblee Survey - Edale Transect 1

Guest blog post by Community Science work experience student Izzy:
Today, I participated in the monthly bumblebee survey on Edale Transect 1. This transect is split into ten different sections, starting partially up the path (SK 12168 6552) that leads along Grindsbrook Clough at the north end of Edale, and continuing for just over a kilometre to SK 11438 87250.
The view along Grindsbrook Clough
The rules for the transect are relatively simple – you keep an eye out for any bumblebees that are within a two-metre radius from the centre of the path, and are less than four metres in front of you, forming a four-metre by four-metre ‘box’. Any bees that fly through the box are also valid, as long as they are under two metres from the ground. These measurements are to ensure that the survey is accurate every month, as surveyors will be looking for bees in the same places.  

You then need to keep a tally the different species of bees for each section of the transect.  This time, we saw a grand total of 59 bumblebees, of 5 different species – bilberry, heath, early, tree, and white-tailed.

Although the bees were very lethargic (perhaps because of the cloudy weather?), we saw twenty-four bilberry bumblebees, which was great; this species is one of the bees that Moors for the Future is focussing on, as they are good indicators for climate change.
A male bilberry bumblebee
Luckily, bilberry bumblebees are quite easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for – their distinctive fiery red tails stand out amongst the moorland plants.

These are a few other bee photos that I took during the transect:
Heath bumblebee
Heath bumblebee

White- or buff-tailed bumblebee

We saw a few bird species as well, including a grey wagtail, some stonechats, and a curlew!

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