This course is open for bookings .

There are around 270 species of bee in Britain, although many are under-recorded, under-appreciated and under-loved!  Found in a range of habitats, bees and have fascinating life-histories and ecosystem roles.

If you’re interested in finding out more about bees but don’t feel ready for a beginner’s ID workshop, then this is the course for you.  Discovering Bees is a very gentle introduction to our planets most important pollinators, introducing aspects of their biology and ecology.

This is a training course from FSC Biolinks, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Field Studies Council.

The course aims to give individuals the skills and confidence to learn more about the lives and ecological role of bees.

This course is aimed at adults and covers the following topics from the Eco-Skills Bees Learning Framework:

  • BWA201 Bee Biology
  • BWA202 Bee Ecology & Diversity
  • BWA204 Bees as Pollinators
  • BWA206 Finding Wild Bees

An e-certificate of course completion will be sent to any participants that successfully complete all of the course components.


Regular Price: £60 (for professionals and residents outside of the UK) Select ‘Attendee (Online)’

Subsidised Price: £20 (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 Discounted (Online)’

Tutor: Ryan Clark

Ryan Clark first became interested in wild bees while at university where he discovered how important these species are and how relatively little is known about their ecology and distribution. Since then he has been actively recording solitary bees and bumblebees and is the Northamptonshire vice-county recorder for bees, wasps and ants. Ryan works for the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire as a Monitoring and Research Officer. In his spare time he is an active (some would say obsessive) biological recorder of a wide variety of taxonomic groups. Ryan also sits on committees for the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society and the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI).

Teaching Location: Online

Closer to the time of the course start date, attendees will be given access to the FSC's online learning platform.

There will be a number of resources for you to work through in your own time and weekly live webinars with the course tutor (see timetable).

These webinars will be hosted on Zoom, a free videoconferencing platform. We will email all attendees details of how to access the online course and the webinars closer to the course start date.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Time commitment: 4 weeks, 3-4 hours per week

This course will require approximately 3 - 4 hours of your time each week, and consists of four weekly topics.

For each topic there will be a number of resources and activities for you to work through in your own time, as well as assignments for you to complete before the end of the week.

Each topic will end with a 45 minute live webinar with the course tutor, these will consist of discussions and exercises that reflect on the learning of the previous week.

Live webinars

The webinars will take place every Tuesday for the duration of the course at 1.00pm GMT

The webinars will take place on:

  • Tuesday 7th September 2021,   1:00pm - 1:45pm
  • Tuesday 14th September 2021, 1:00pm - 1:45pm
  • Tuesday 21st September 2021, 1:00pm - 1:45pm
  • Tuesday 28th September 2021, 1:00pm - 1:45pm

The webinars will be recorded for those that are unable to attend the live sessions.


Example Timetable

Week 1: Bee Biology

  • Self-study material: available from 31/08/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00pm on 06/09/2021
  • Week 1 live webinar: 07/09/2021 (at 1:00pm)

Week 2: Bee Ecology and Diversity

  • Self-study material: available from 07/09/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00pm on 13/09/2021
  • Week 2 live webinar: 14/09/2021 (at 1:00pm)

Week 3: Bees as Pollinators

  • Self-study material: available from 14/09/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00pm on 20/09/2021
  • Week 3 live webinar: 21/09/2021 (at 1:00pm)

Week 4: Finding Wild Bees

  • Self-study material: available from 21/09/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00pm on 27/09/2021
  • Week 4 live webinar: 28/09/2021 (at 1:00pm)

The final deadline to complete any outstanding assignments and self-study components is 05/10/2021.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • access to course content through the FSC virtual learning platform
  • access to weekly live virtual classroom sessions with the course tutor through Zoom
  • e-certificate upon course completion

Before You Attend

Once you've signed up to the course you'll receive an e-mail with access to the virtual learning platform (Moodle) a week before the first webinar.

Log on as soon as you can to familiarise yourself with the platform and course materials, and be sure to complete the first activities before the first webinar.

Webinars are delivered through Zoom, so you don't need to download any additional software to attend - just click the link just before the meeting is due to start and it will open in your web browser.