Due to Covid-19 we have had to cancel courses from March to 1st August, we hope you will find an event later in the year that you can attend.

This course will introduce participants to the identification and ecology of solitary bees. Introduction to the identification of genera and species will be through a combination of presentations, field visits and microscopy using keys and prepared specimens. Suitable for those who have some previous experience of bee ID or who have attended an introductory workshop. By the end of the course participants will be more confident in identifying the more commonly encountered genera and species.

The major part of the course will focus on using the new Steven Falk keys to identify specimens down to species. Time will be put aside for those who are less familiar with the group to work through keys to genera before advancing on to species identification. Field visits to a variety of habitats will cover ecology and field identification to genera or species where possible. Narrowing specimens down certainly helps to make later identification a lot easier.

Tutor: Ian Cheeseborough

Ian Cheeseborough is self-employed in the field of habitat management and entomological surveys, mainly in Shropshire. He has been studying Aculeate Hymenoptera – bees, wasps and ants for the past ninteen years and is County Recorder for this group of insects. He also runs a number of courses on Aculeates at Preston Montford FSC.

With the generous support of the Suffolk Biodiversity and Information Service, along with the Suffolk Naturalists Society, we are able to provide bursary funding for this course for those students who meet the criteria. For more information please go to Bursaries for Natural History Courses.


Bring a friend!

If you are attending a course at Flatford Mill at the sole occupancy price, we are offering a special rate for a friend or partner not enrolled on the course to also stay at £50 per night for dinner, bed and breakfast.

Please contact FSC Flatford Mill on 01206 297110 or [email protected] to book this offer.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Personal and Travel Insurance

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • An entomological net for field trips
  • A hand lens x10 or higher
  • If you can bring your own microscope you may find this beneficial, although there are some available at the Centre

Recommended Reading

  • Steven Falk – A Field Guide to the Bees of Britain and Ireland, British Wildlife Publishing
  • 'Else and Edwards, 2018' The Bees of the British Isles
  • Bees of Surrey. David W. Baldock – published by Surrey Wildlife Trust
  • Have a good browse of the BWARS website. Bee, Wasp and Ant Recording Society