New to this year, to complement the Lagoons data, we’re asking those of you that are keen to carry out short, simple insect surveys in your garden. This is not a requirement, but if you are interested in adding to this dataset, it may help us to build a better picture of what is happening in gardens over time. You can do these surveys as frequently as you like, ideally one in the morning and one in the afternoon once a week, but even just one survey once a month would give us an insight.
Surveys should be completed on good weather days. I have created an insect survey google form for you to submit these data, but you can also print and submit the PDF below or cut and paste the questions below into an email or digital document. The form asks for a date, time, and time taken to complete the survey i.e. to slowly walk around your garden, logging insects (into 8 insect groups, see in bold below) that you see and any flowering plants. Should you need to stop and confirm the identification of flowering plants, you can do this at the end of the survey (to keep the time standard, for repeating the following week or month).
The form then asks you for an email address (to identify your Lagoon data and repeated surveys) and a postcode, to list flowering plant species, estimate total floral cover, and count total number of bumblebees, honeybees, other bees, wasps, hoverflies, other flies, butterflies, and beetles observed (feeding on flowers or resting on leaves). Finally it asks to list insect species (as far as possible, but feel free to leave this blank). Please see this insect group ID guide that is designed to help identify the different insect groups. If you need some help identifying plants, or indeed some insects, try the Seek app by iNaturalist.
More about identifying social wasps (and hornets): https://www.bigwaspsurvey.org/the-wasps/
If you are keen to do more for pollinators, you may also be interested in collecting data for the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme.
Do I repeat the survey at the same time each week?
If you can complete weekly surveys once a day then yes please try and complete it in the morning (before 12-noon) OR afternoon (after 12-noon) when you repeat it the following week.
How else can I submit my surveys?
You can print and fill out the PDF below, or copy and paste the questions here into an email or digital document.
|Time taken to survey|
|Flowering Plant Species|
|Floral cover (m2)|
|No. Other bees|
|No. Other flies|
|Insect Species Identified|