Bee Spotting

When thinking about bees, the honey bee is the iconic bee species which comes to mind and the thought of bees is often followed by thoughts of nature, summer and picnics. However, there are over 20,000 bee species which are categorized into many different groups including; honey bees, bumblebees, mining bees and solitary bees. Bees belong to the Hymenoptera taxon order in the insecta class along with other familiar species including ants and wasps.   

Wild Bees

When talking about bees there’s a species that comes to everyone’s mind, the honey bee. Not only is this only one species of the breadth of bees we have, it is also a farmed animal. Originating from Africa, honey bees are farmed all around the world. Yet we have huge diversity of wild bees that don’t get a mention when the ‘bee’ word is called. We’re going to introduce you to some of the wild bees you can spot in our island and hopefully get you out spotting them on a sunny day.

Flower Insect Timed Counts

Now the weather is better it is time to get counting the pollinators!   

As patches are flowering across the island, either as a dedicated pollinator patch or as a wild garden from no mow may, it is time to see what animals are using these spaces. You will need good weather to complete the survey. If the sky is clear a minimum of 13°C is needed to complete the survey or if the sky is cloudy then a minimum temperature for a count is 15°C

Bumblebee Diets

Bumblebees are a charismatic group of insects as they are recognised for their important ecological role in pollination of both wild and agricultural plants. Unfortunately, after the Second World War, their numbers and geographic range declined. Whilst this is likely due to a combination of possible explanations, the leading cause is currently thought to be the intensification of farming (2–4).

Successful bumblebee course 2020

On the 15th and 16th we invited India Wedge over to run a two day training course on pollinator identification. The Sponsorship for the Countryside enhancement scheme allowed the JBC to run this course at a huge discount to the attendees. Held at Jersey Zoo classroom and grounds we spent two days surveying their pollinator patches.