There are over 270 bee species in the British Isles most of which are solitary bees – the social bees (bumblebees and honeybees) only make up about 10% of these species. Join our tutor in the field to search for, find, and discuss the identification features of a variety of UK solitary bee species that can be identified in the field.

Learn about the different families, genera and species of solitary bees and how to tell them apart. We will be using Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland by Steven Falk – copies will be available to use from our library, but please feel free to bring your own.

This course combines classroom-led learning and outside learning opportunities led by a specialist tutor to give learners the skills to be able to identify distinctive species of solitary bee 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 solitary bee classification and how their morphology and ecology are interconnected.
  • Identification of distinctive species of solitary bee using a hand lens and field characters.
  • Support from a specialist bee tutor when practicing field identification techniques.
  • Guidance on how to submit solitary bee records.
  • An introduction to FIT counts (flower-insect timed counts).

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: 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).

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.
  • Access to identification resources.

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 London: Bushy Park

Information on getting to the site can be found here.

When you arrive at The Stockyard gate you may need to call the centre to open the gate. You can reach the staff on site on 020 8941 4398.

Due to the outside nature of part of this course, participants are advised to bring suitable clothing and footwear in order to access the Bushy Park site in various weather conditions.

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.

What to bring

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

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.

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