Frequently Asked Questions
Specifically BeeWalk-focused FAQ: for general bumblebee-related questions, go here
I want to start a BeeWalk, but it's not March. Do I need to wait until next year? No! Feel free to begin BeeWalking whatever the month! The field season starts in March, but there's no reason not to start new transects whenever you like.
Can I walk my transect more often than once a month? Yes! We ask for transects to be walked at least monthly, but more frequently is absolutely fine.
I liked the old system of posting in paper forms and emailing spreadsheets - do I really have to use the new website? Yes, please. The survey is growing fast - 122 transects in 2012, 171 in 2013, 251 in 2014, 279 in 2015 - and with 8 months surveyed across each transect, we just don't have time to deal with paper/spreadsheet records as well as actually using the data.
I'd like several people to walk the same transect - can this be done? Yes - send us the transect name and the website usernames of the different recorders, and we'll set them all up on the same transect withut having to draw it out umpteen times.
How do I find out if there is a transect close to me?
- Go to the ‘explore records’ page
- Create filter (top-right of the map)
- Click on ‘when’ and for max. record age enter 12 months to see transects recording within the last year
- Zoom in to your location (use the mouse scroll wheel or the slider on the left of the map)
- Each transect is represented by a blue square, and if you zoom in far enough you can see the route
Does it matter if there is a transect close by? No, even if your transects cross the data is still valuable – having transects that are close to each other actually helps us work out how bumblebees move through the landscape.
What do I do if the habitat changes permanently on my transect? Depending on the scale of the change you may be able to alter the transect slightly on the system or we may need new transect data entered. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
How can I be sure what habitat type I have on my transect? The JNCC website covers the plant species that best characterise habitats. Otherwise, your best guess is fine - many habitat types merge into each other
There is only one habitat type on my transect, is this ok? This is fine, but please break the route into at least 4 sections (this makes it easier for us to know which part of the route you saw which bumblebees in). These could be marked by changes in the topography or landscape such as the end of a line of trees, or a change in direction of the route.
How do I complete the data entry section if I didn’t see any bees? Please still add the survey into the data base by submitting the details of the walk (date, time, weather etc) and leave the species list blank and click next step, at this point you can leave a comment that you didn’t see any bees. This tells us that you did a survey that month but didn’t record any bees.
How I do I complete the data entry section if I saw a bumblebee but couldn’t identify it to species? In the species column enter Bumblebee. Then select which section you saw the unidentified bumblebee in and enter how many of which caste (if known, if not put the number of individuals in the unknown column).
Can I edit my data after I have submitted it? If the data you entered for a BeeWalk is incorrect, you can edit this via 'my walks', choosing the walk you need to correct, then re-enter the data and submit. This will overwrite the previous data submitted. Any corrections need to be made before the end of the year.
Can I download my own records? The website doesn’t currently support this facility, but if you email us at email@example.com specifying the transect, we can download the data and send you your records.
What happens to the records? At the end of the season all the records are downloaded and analysed by our Science Manager. The ultimate aim – once we’ve got enough years’ data – is to start analysing population trends across Britain, but we’re also investigating habitat use and flower visitation, amongst other things.
How do I find out the latest results of the survey scheme? The mid-season BeeWalk e-newsletter provides an overview of the year so far for bumblebees from the information submitted to date. The end of season BeeWalk e-newsletter provides the results of that year’s complete survey season. Not on the BeeWalk enewsletter mailing list? If you'd like to recieve this please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
When do I need to submit my data? Please enter your data as soon as possible after your month’s walk if at all possible, as the sooner we receive data the better picture we get of the year so far for bumblebees. At the latest, please submit the data by the end of the year – we’ll send out a reminder at the end of the survey season.
Question not answered here? Drop us an email at email@example.com