By Dr Richard Comont, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Data Monitoring Officer
First and foremost I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has been involved in this year’s BeeWalk survey. BeeWalk continues to grow from strength to strength, and that’s only possible because volunteers are willing to go out and monitor their local bumblebees for us – thank you!
BeeWalk is the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s national recording scheme, which monitors the abundance of bumblebees across the UK. The survey would be impossible without dedicated BeeWalk volunteers, who identify and count the bumblebees they see on an hour’s walk each month from March to October.
If there was one word to describe 2015, it would probably be ‘patchy’. A later spring than 2014 delayed things slightly and the season didn’t really get going until a week of sunshine during Easter. After that it was a case of two steps forward, one step back as sunny days were replaced by gloomy skies, often several times in the same week. This had an impact on the spring species like the Early bumblebee, which saw numbers fall – this was probably inevitable after the record-breaking spring of 2014 and represents a reversion to the mean rather than a worrying issue.more...