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How did the UK’s bumblebees do in 2019? - Bumblebee Conservation Trust

BeeWalk is the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s national bumblebee recording scheme. The scheme monitors the abundance of bumblebees across the UK. Read on for the 2019 results.

2019 was the biggest year yet for BeeWalk since the Trust started the scheme in 2008. The 2019 records are summarised in the latest BeeWalk Annual Report here.

Across Britain almost 500 people, mainly volunteer citizen scientists, walked transects at 587 different sites, an increase of 38 over the previous year. BeeWalkers submitted nearly 31,000 records and counted more than 97,000 individual bees during the year.

BeeWalk is unique as it allows staff at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to see patterns and trends that can’t be extracted from any other dataset. The information collected is crucial to understanding that key question “How are the bumblebees doing?”.

The positive story coming from analysis of the 2019 results is the recovery of some of the UK’s rarest bumblebees. Three species – the Shrill carder bee (Bombus sylvarum), Brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) and the Ruderal bumblebee (Bombus ruderatus) – are Continental European species at heart, and reach their northern range edge in Britain. All three appear to be responding positively to the combination of targeted conservation work and recent warm summers, and all three did relatively well during 2019.

Download the report (PDF)

Read more about BeeWalks in this article for CJS by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust

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