What is the World Bee Count?

Published on May 20th 2020
The Lone Pollinator by Tanner Smida (CC BY 4.0)
A close up of a honey bee on a wooden surface

The biggest global-lead bee citizen science project has launched on World Bee Day this year!

World Bee Day was created by the United Nations only three years ago, on the birthday of Anton Janša, one of the very first beekeeping teachers. Ever since, the day celebrates our pollinators, in particular, bees and all they do for us.
Bees are a keystone species, which means, if they were to be removed from the food web, we would expect other populations to collapse. You could say, life itself hinges on bees, as well as other wild pollinators.
A close up of a red-tailed bumblebee on a dandelion flower
A bumblebee on a dandelion flower
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, events across the world will be virtual this year, including Chelsea this week. Lucky for us, there are ways that we can still join in to help the movement, whether you own a garden or not.
The World Bee Count is a new Citizen Science initiative, led by partnerships which you could consider the bees-knees!
These include (http://worldbeeproject.org/), who launched the British social enterprise The Global Hive Network©, the first global honey bee monitoring programme. Ultimately, they want to enhance habitats for all the key pollinator groups.
Other names include HiveTracks and the Center for Analytics Research and Education (CARE). These organisations champion 'Analytics for Good'.
You can find out more about the way they handle data on the World Bee Count website.
The global project is simple, download the app and take a photo of the pollinators you find, wherever, whenever! Once you've submitted your recording, it will appear on an interactive map with other records from across the world.
Anyone can join in, whether you're out on a walk, visiting the supermarket or watering the plants on your balcony- everything counts.
The end goal is to collect long term location data with a focus on bee pollinators. Also, the project hopes to raise further awareness of bees and pollinators, highlighting the crucial role they play in ecosystems across the world.

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