On Thursday 7th August, Buglife are holding a workshop to recruit volunteer Bee Guardians to help survey the special bees found at Canvey Wick nature reserve.

Canvey Wick, Buglife’s first nature reserve owned by the Land Trust and jointly managed by the RSPB and Buglife, is a haven for invertebrates with more than 1400 different species living on the site. In the 1970s, Canvey Wick was transformed from coastal grazing marsh into an oil refinery; however, the site was decommissioned in 1973 without ever opening. Left largely untouched it has developed into a unique space rich with wildflower grasslands,  herb-rich sandy areas and wetland features.

Bee Guardian The site is hugely important thanks to it being home to many  scarce bumblebees, including two of the UK’s most threatened bumblebees, the shrill carder bee and the brown-banded carder bee. However a lack of management on the land  led to some areas becoming overrun by scrub which threatened the wildflower habitats that are key to supporting the bees which Buglife is now looking to change.

Dr Sarah Henshall, Buglife’s Lead ecologist said, “Canvey Wick is home to some of our rarest bumblebees, we need volunteers to help us monitor the bees and keep an eye on how their numbers respond to the positive management work we are doing. As the amounts of wildflowers increase we hope the bees will too”

Bee-come a Bee Guardian

Buglife and the RSPB are seeking  Bee Guardians to help  monitor how the bees change their use of the site in response to the exciting new management regime. Each Bee Guardian will be given full training by experts and be provided with identification guides and maps.
The Bee Guardian workshop is a great opportunity for the local community to explore the nationally important wildlife site on their doorsteps and to help contribute to this exciting new project.
The workshop will be held on 7 August 2014, 11am till 3pm. Places on the Bee Guardian workshop are limited and booking is essential.

Please contact Steve Roach on 01268 498620 or [email protected] to book a place.

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