We have bee nest boxes in Oxford City and Wytham Woods,
and we need you to help us collect the data!
This is the core of our citizen science initiative
All you do is:
1. Visit a nest box: (map of the boxes in Wytham here (lat/long here), map of the boxes in Oxford here). More information about being a nest box host (having your own bee nest box) is here.
2. Take three photos: one up close, one to show surrounding plants, and one with your back to the box to show what the box is facing. More information about taking the photos is here. Also please write down any plant species nearby which you recognize.
3. Upload your photos here, and fill in a very short form that tells us a bit about where the next box is located, and any plants you recognized. You will need to login with a Google account to fill in the form, but we do not keep any record of your details or email address.
4. Additional photos, if you can
- We need images of nest box visitors, including bees, wasps or spiders that build nests in the nest box, or wasps and spiders that might be preying on the bees or the larvae. There's a useful guide to taking pictures of bees here.
- If there are tubes occupied by solitary bees, we‘d be interested in seeing images of the sealed tube ends. This helps us identify what types of bees are using the nest box. Generally, miner bees use soil and leaf-cutter bees use leaves to seal their nests.
- We would also like to have close-up images of the flowers that are blooming around the nest boxes - if you aren't able to identify the plants, we can use the photos to try to do it.
Anyone and everyone is welcome to take pictures of the Oxford Plan Bee nest boxes, or upload pictures from your home bee nest box, and contribute to the research project.
Insect species you’re likely to see:
Bees: Megachile (leaf-cutters), Osmia bicornis, Osmia caerulescens and Osmia leaiana (mason bees), Coelioxys (cuckoo bees)
Wasps (largely parasites of the bees): Crossocerus sp, Passaloecus sp., Symmorphorus bifasciatus, Monodontomerus, Pteromalus, Ancistrocerus nigricornis, Ancistrocerus trifasciatus, Pemphredon lugubris, Auplopus carbonarius, Melittobia acasta, Gasteruption jaculator, Sapyga quinquepuncata, Chrysura radians, Chrysis ignita and Chrysis terminate.
Are you looking for more opportunities to observe and learn about bees?
Join the Wytham Woods BumbleBee Walks and the Wytham Woods Citizen Science program: https://www.wythamwoods.ox.ac.uk/events.