It’s increasingly common knowledge that bee populations are in trouble in many parts of the world, and that there are serious consequences for pollination and thus for food production. But it’s not an easy phenomenon to follow, and researchers are keen to get more data on where bees are thriving or struggling, and which specific species of bee. For that, they are turning to the British public for a bit of “family-friendly citizen science.”
Yesterday the Great British Bee Count launched. It’s a simple idea. Over the summer, if you spot bees as you’re out and about, you can use an app on your mobile to identify the species and log your sightings. The data will be collected by the National Biodiversity Network and could inform the government’s strategy on pollination.
The app is available from the App store and on Android, but you can also report bee sightings on the website. I’m hoping to spot a Hairy-Footed Flower Bee before the summer is out.