There are 24 species of bumblebee in the UK. These large, furry, flying insects are often easily recognised by the public, but species identification can be tricky. Join our expert tutor to learn more about bumblebee identification, particularly focusing on the common species collectively known as the ‘Big 8’.

Join our tutor in the field to search for bumblebees. We will find a variety of different species’ and discuss the identification features of UK bumblebees that can aid field ID.

This course marries together the use of classroom-led learning and outside learning opportunities led by an specialist tutor to give learners the skills to be able to identify distinctive species in the field.

  • Certificate upon course completion.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.
  • This course is limited to the identification of distinctive species that can be identified in the field.

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?

  • An introduction to bee classification and separating bumblebees from other bees.
  • Identification of distinctive species of bumbleebee using a hand lens and field characters.
  • Support from an expert tutor when practicing field identification techniques.
  • Guidance on how to submit bumblebee records.

See the ‘Example Timetable’, ‘What’s Included’ and ‘Before You Attend’ sections below for more information about this course.

Course Fees

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.

Covid Measures

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.

Example Timetable

  • 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.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • 6 hours of tuition
  • Certificate of attendance
  • Any excursions will be on foot

Bursaries and Subsidies

FSC BioLinks

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 Preston Montford

FSC Preston Montford, Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury SY4 1DX

Direct enquiries: 01743 852040 (Mon-Fri, 9am–5pm)

  • By Road: From the A5, take the roundabout exit signposted to Mid-Wales and Welshpool (A458). One mile along this road, turn right onto B4473, we are located on the left after approx ½ mile.
  • By Bus or Train: Shrewsbury stations.

What to bring

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Lunch
  • Hand lens (if you have one)

Due to the outside nature of part of this course, participants are advised to bring suitable clothing and footwear.

This BioLinks course has aspects that will be taught outdoors with walking to field sites over uneven ground. No special preparation is required providing you are used to gentle exercise. If you have any concerns or questions about access or the activities involved, please get in touch.

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.

Clear