With around 270 species of bee across 29 genera found in the UK there are a number of species that require microscopic examination in order to reliably identify them to species. This 2-day course will provide you with the skills you need to be able to start identifying bees to genus using a microscope.
This course provides an introduction to identifying bees to genus. This includes a short presentation introducing the morphological features used to identify specimens to genus level, followed by practical sessions guided by our expert tutor. During the lab sessions, you’ll explore a wide variety of different bee species, including ones that can be trickier to identify in the field. This course will use the Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland, by Steven Falk – copies will be available for use from our reference library.
Through a combination of taught classroom content and lab-based practical sessions, learners will gain confidence in using the identification key and preserved specimens to identify bees to genus level.
- Certificate upon course completion.
- Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.
- Please note that this course will involve using specimens that have been killed and preserved.
This course is aimed at adults only and course attendees must be at least 18 years old in order to attend.
What will be covered during this course?
- The external (morphological) features used in bee identification.
- How to work through a key to determine bee specimens accurately to family, genus level.
- Practical experience observing bee ID features using a microscope.
- No microscope experience is necessary – our tutors will set up and show you how to use a microscope.
See the ‘Example Timetable’, ‘What’s Included’ and ‘Before You Attend’ sections below for more information about this course.
Regular Price: £75 For professionals and residents outside of the UK. Select ‘Attendee: In Person’ Sold Out
Subsidised Price: £10 Subsidised by the FSC BioLinks project for non-professionals eg. volunteers, biological recorders, wildlife gardeners, amateur naturalists and students. Available to UK residents only. Select ‘Attendee Subsidised: In Person’
Tutor: Aaron Bhambra
Aaron is an entomologist from the West Midlands who has been studying insects for several years as a pollinator specialist and insect ecologist. His main interests are with ‘urban’ invertebrates and the countless fascinating species which can be found in towns and cities across the UK.
His previous research has focussed on solitary bees, developing habitats for these beneficial and often undervalued pollinators throughout Birmingham, with the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species and the British Entomological and Natural History Society. Aaron started his love for bees with the FSC as a volunteer on their BioLinks courses, before progressing through their learning pathway into a tutoring role. Aaron joined the FSC BioLinks project team as a project officer developing and delivering online bee courses before moving on to undertake a PhD studying pollinators.
In order to keep our customers and staff safe we ask that anyone attending our centres:
- wears a face covering when in shared indoor space (unless exempt).
- maintains social distancing.
- cleans their hands regularly.
- takes a Covid-19 test before they arrive.
- Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00 am.
- Refreshments will be available from 9.45 am.
- The course will end at 4:00 pm.
- 6 hours of tuition.
- Certificate of attendance.
- Access to a microscope, identification resources and specimens.
Bursaries and Subsidies
FSC BioLinks is an exciting project for FSC in the South East and West Midlands, bringing together existing volunteers with skills in biological recording and identification, and new volunteers.
This project provides subsidised training courses, learning opportunities and digital tools focussed on invertebrate identification for anyone involved or interested in biological recording, to build and strengthen the community.
Invertebrates provide us with many useful ecosystem services, like pollination and decomposition, which we cannot survive without but their numbers are declining. Few people know how to identify or record invertebrates meaning there is a lack of data.
We are delighted to have been awarded a grant of £1.23 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for this project.
Before You Attend
Getting to FSC Bishops Wood
FSC Bishops Wood, Crossway Green, Stourport-on-Severn DY13 9SE
- By car from Kidderminster: (M5, A38, A449 southbound) On the M5 heading southbound coming off at junction 5, taking the third exit on the roundabout to get onto the A38. at the first roundabout take the third exit onto Kidderminster Road going straight over the next roundabout sticking to Kidderminster Road. At the second left turn to follow Doverdale Lane. Once you have come to a sign turning right onto the A449 take it until you get to the Mitre Oak pub on your left. Take the first exit on the roundabout onto Bishops Wood Lane, finally taking the first left on you will arrive at Bishops Wood Field Centre.
- By car from Worcester: (M5, A449 northbound) On the M5 heading northbound, take Junction 6 to Worcester/ Kidderminster taking the second exit heading for the A449 northbound, continuing for 9 miles. At the roundabout with the Mitre Oak pub take the first exit onto Stourport Road. Take the first left onto Bishops Wood Lane, finally taking the first left on you will arrive at Bishops Wood Field Centre.
- By train: The nearest station to the centre is Hartlebury. From here, it is a two-mile walk to FSC Bishops Wood, or a short taxi ride.
What to bring
- Notebook and pencil
- If you have your own copy of the Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland, by Steven Falk, bring it with you so that you can make notes in your own copy.
- Any specimens that you'd like verified (tutor availability during the course permitting)
Please note that this course will involve using specimens that have been killed and preserved.
There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. If you have special medical requirements please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan the course.