Bumblebee Identification Course

Bumblebee Identification Course

Date: 14th May 2022

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Who is the course for:

Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum)

This course is for beginners who would like to learn more about these charismatic insects. No previous knowledge is assumed. During the course you will learn about the lifecycle of these social insects and how to identify the commoner species. After the course you may even like to join a bee walk group monitoring bumblebee populations for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Course content outline:

The morning will be spent at the Jenner Hall introducing bumblebee ecology and survey techniques. This will be followed by an identification workshop enabling us to recognise the diagnostic features of bumblebees and identify the 8 most common species.

After lunch we will  walk to North Meadow National Nature Reserve and the afternoon will be largely spent walking around the reserve allowing you to put your identification skills into practice.

The day will conclude back at the Jenner Hall with an explanation of how to use these skills to make biological species records.

Your Tutor: Richard Comont

Dr Richard Comont joined the Trust in 2013 from the University of Oxford, and became Science Manager in 2016.  His role is to lead the Trust’s scientific work, with a particular emphasis on monitoring bumblebee population trends.  To this end, he leads the Trust’s citizen science biological recording scheme BeeWalk, training volunteers in bumblebee ID and surveying as well as analysing the data.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust was founded in 2006 over concerns about the plight of the bumblebees.  Today more than 40 staff work across the country to conserve our rarest bumblebee species, monitor population trends of rare and common species alike, and introduce bumblebees to new audiences.  The Trust works towards a world where bumblebees are thriving and valued.


Jenner Hall Cricklade and  North Meadow NNR Cricklade

Timing:  10 am to 4.30 pm

Cost: £25

Course materials:

Course attendees will be provided with Bumblebees – An introduction, published by The Bumblebee Conservation Trust. This will be yours to keep.

What to Bring

    • Notebook and pencil
    • X10 Hand lens (if you have one)
    • Close Focus Binoculars (if you have some)
    • Packed lunch
    • Water bottle and/or thermos flask
    • Small rucksack or bag
    • Waterproofs (just in case!)
    • Stout shoes, boots or wellies
    • Hat and sunscreen
    • Insect repellent
    • Camera if you wish

There will be a person with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. Please let us know as soon as possible if you have special medical or access requirements.

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