The Great British Bug Hunt
As seen on the BBC news the Great British Bug Hunt comprises of 3 pollinator plants and a 48 page beautifully illustrated book filled with games, puzzles, and information about how you can support the wildlife in your garde. It was give to 500 vulnerable people isolating alone during the first Covid19 lockdown to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. It has had great feedback from people who received it, replicated in London and has been redesigned to help children learn about biodiversity.
For people involved in the project
We hope you're enjoying being part the Great British Bug Hunt and it's helping to make your stay at home more enjoyable.
Thanks to your support, your are creating wonderful nature corridors for bees and butterflies to be able to travel safely through our villages and towns, increasing their numbers and helping them to pollinate this wonderful world.
Hopefully your plants are growing well and starting to attracting more creatures into your garden for your to watch. This page is dedicated to the links you might want to explore to for more information.
The Butterfly Conservation website
Packed full of great information about how to identify butterflies, recording and monitoring advice as well as tips on gardening for butterflies
You can find the list of food plants in your book here
If you would prefer to record bees (and other wildlife) on a more ad hoc basis, rather than carrying out the 10 minute surveys then go to the iRecord page. If possible include a photo of the bumblebee that you have seen to allow the iRecord experts to verify your sighting.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust
They have a video channel with bee ID tutorials and great bumblebee footage.
Gardening for Bumblebees
They also provide some great advice on bumblebee friendly gardening
Here is a link to the ‘Big 7’ common bumblebees poster that's in your pack in case you want to share it with your friends and family, to help them distinguish bees in their gardens. Take a look at their tips on taking identifiable photographs of bumblebees.
Recognising bees more easily
If you would like some more information about how to identify different types of bees and wasps, this is a very useful guide Guide to recognising the insect groups you need to count (current version, pdf)
Getting the younger generation involved
If you would like to get children discovering bees, there is a learning zone which has plenty of fun and educational resources including junior word searches, mazes and craft activities
There is a Beekind App you can download on a mobile phone or Ipad which scores your garden for ‘bee-friendliness’. You tick which plants and flowers you already have and it will also give you recommendations on what to plant to improve the space for bumblebees – it’s fun to see who has the best score in your the ‘Nature Calls’ groups.
Carrying out an effective timed insect count
Information about the Pollinator Monitoring Survey (PoMs) Flower-Insect timed count (FIT) count can be found on the CEH website here: . This page has further links to the full instructions, more recording forms and a guide to different insects and flowers that you might find in your garden.
Remember any information gathered whether it’s just ‘bee’ or right down to species level is useful information.
Please remember to tag your counts with the reference "GB Bug Hunt” when submitting your data
This is a great 2 minute video that shows you how to carry out a FIT Count
Some great Apps to use
There are some great apps you can download if you would like to support a whole range of animals and insects. Visit the citizen science page on the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology website https://www.ceh.ac.uk/citizen-science-apps
'Birdsong ID UK' very useful for identifying birds by sound in the garden
'Picture This' for identifying plants in your garden or on walks
'iRecord Butterflies' for when you spot butterflies on an adhoc basis rather than in a timed count.
If you discover other good ones, please let us know and we will post them here for other people to find.
Would you like to help expand the Great British Bug Hunt?
If you are an organisation or a business that would like to financially support or run the next batch of bug hunts in your area, they include -
A 48 page beautifully illustrated A4 booklet with information about garden wildlife, helping people to be able to identify and support the insects and birds that visit their gardens
Beautiful nature crosswords, word searches, anagrams and live bird, bug and butterfly bingo cards that people can play with family, friends or in a nature group.
Activity sheets such as how to build a bug house, butterfly feeder and Hedgehog house using things they have at home.
People have the opportunity to participate in a national butterfly and bee ‘fit count’ data survey which requires them to spend ten minutes a day sitting in their gardens to watch insects and flowers in order to collect data.
Bird, butterfly and bee spotting information guides and charts to be able to measure their findings
For those that want to, people can become part of a group of 4 people to discuss their findings over the phone, providing the opportunity to talk and connect with other people with a purpose, potentially leading to deeper connections, local long term friendships and effective support networks.
Online links to extend people's knowledge of biodiversity and encourage new interests and hobbies.
Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01789 601496, it would be great to hear from you and make a huge difference to people in your community.