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Bee Walk

Please click the bluebird symbol to email the group contact, Moira Green.

BeeWalk, a national recording scheme operated by the >> BBCT << (BumbleBee Conservation Trust) monitors the abundance of bumblebees across the UK.
Volunteers identify & count the bumblebees seen on a 1 hour walk monthly from Mar to Oct. 
Besides promoting training & 'Bee Friendly' activities & visits, MEOPHAM BEE WATCH GROUP has established 5 BeeWalks:
>>  Cobham, Trosley, NorthfieldMeophamJeskyns. << 
For information / map / or to email the walk leader, click the walk's name.
 2024 MU3A Bee Watch Schedule

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Update February 2024

This group was set up in 2017 and now has nearly 30 members who participate in 5 Bee Walks every month from March to October. This involves members walking the same set route each month and recording info that is shared on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website. Bee Walkers are on the lookout for Bumblebees which they  identify and record the species, caste, numbers and flowers they are visiting. (Trosley Beewalk data is also shared with the park's ranger team so they can see year-on-year trends and the impact of their conservation land management strategies on the park's Bumblebee populations.

In 2016 Dr Nikki Gammans enthused us by speaking at a members’ meeting on the plight of the Short Haired Bumblebee. At this presentation, we found out about Bee Walks and decided to form the U3A's first Bee Watch group. After it had formed in 2017, we had a training day in April given by Nikki and her team, which we left with a beginner’s knowledge of Bees, and Bumblebees in particular. We also had training in capture and identification, so we felt some confidence in completing the monthly recording forms for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Besides completing annual bee walks, some members of the group have attended various sessions with Nikki and her team, mainly at Dungeness RSPB, which has enabled consolidation of skills and knowledge. At a review meeting at the end of 2022, members agreed that we would benefit from more training and a refresher course was held at Trosley Country Park on 3rd February 2023 before the yearly walks. (To see some pictures of this event please click HERE).

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>> MEMBERS NEWS & OBSERVATIONS << (including local community activities).
>> SUMMARIES OF OUR  PREVIOUS YEARS' ACTIVITIES FROM 2016 ON <<
>> PICTURES <<.

FOR SOME FREE GOODIES, SCROLL TO 'INFO & RESOURCES' AT THE FOOT OF THIS PAGE.

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BEE WATCH ACTIVITIES WHICH YOU CAN DO INDIVIDUALLY:

1. Learn and/or improve your individual bumblebee identification skills. Use the links below to view presentations by Dr Richard Comont.
2. Devise your own regular walk – (e.g., round the garden, along your street) - & record the type & number of bumblebees you see. You can report these to the group or to: i-record (https://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/), BWARS (https://www.bwars.com/),or Friends Of The Earth Bee Count (https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bee-count). 
3. Record what you see in your own garden on a less formal basis. 
4. Make your garden more bee friendly . . .
. . . and perhaps join the Bumblebee Conservation Trust?

Can You Involve Your Local Community?
1. Identify areas in your local area which could be made more bee friendly – eg. road verges, waste & disused areas, public & open spaces, allotments, etc.

2. Contact & liaise with other group members, landowners, local councillors, KCC, & anyone else as to ways in which this could be achieved. Could you plant bee friendly plants & seeds, offer labour, join, approach or assist bodies such as BBCT, Kent Wildlife Trust, Friends of The Earth, NW Kent Countryside Partnership, etc?
3. Could you help to build up a bank of useful information & contacts which we could all use. A lot of advice & resources are available from many of these organizations, particularly BBCT. 
Finally - We are very keen to hear your ideas and suggestions.

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INFO & RESOURCES:

Bee Watch Group Co-ordinator