People around the UK are being urged to submit photos of bees they see out and about in nature through the Spot-A-Bee mobile app.
The call for help from University of Glasgow and Cardiff University researchers comes today on World Bee Day (Thursday 20 May 2021).
The Spot-A-Bee app invites users to submit photos of bees, the plants that attract the insects in their garden or local area to help plot a map of plant distribution.
Last year, over 8000 spots from citizens scientists all over the world were logged. Researchers say the data gathered through the app will be useful for conservation as it will provide information about plants that bees like and could encourage planting of them to create bee- friendly habitats.
Now they are looking for more citizen scientists to help support this project in 2021.
Dr Ria Dunkley, a lecturer at the University of Glasgow, said: “The pandemic has helped many of us realise just how important outside space is as well as how important it is for us to connect with the nature in our local area. We’re always looking for more people to get join us so as restrictions ease across the UK we are inviting everyone to get involved and download the app.
“We had a great response after launching last year and have received over 8000 spots from citizen scientists all over the world! The Spot-a-Bee app also allows you to become part of the Spot-a-Bee community where you can comment on other spot records and explore the map to see what bees others are spotting. So please join in and get spotting!”
The Spot-A-Bee app can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play.
The app has been created by the School of Education at the University of Glasgow in partnership with the School of Pharmacy at Cardiff University.
A learning pack for children and their families who want to help bees by looking after their homes, can be downloaded from the Spot-A-Bee website