Counting Pollinators

To help us understand which insects pollinate food-crops grown in urban areas, we'd like you to conduct quick spot counts of the pollinators visiting your flowering crops. We'd only like you to record insects within broad groups (e.g. bee, butterfly, wasp) so you don't need to have lots of experience in insect identification! Plus our pollinator identification sheets and other resources will help you to tell the different groups apart. Why not also attend one of our training events being held at various locations across the city this Spring. Check out our events page for more details! 

HOW TO COUNT POLLINATORS

1. DOWNLOAD FORM

2. RECORD WEATHER

3. LIST CROPS

Download and print-off a copy of the

recording sheet.

Record the date and approximate time of the survey, and circle the weather and wind conditions. Try to conduct your surveys on a dry day, ideally in sunny, calm conditions.

Make a list of all the different food plants that are flowering in your growing space at that time, in the first column of the table. Remember, we are only interested in the flowering insect-pollinated crops  (See list below

4. ESTIMATE NUMBERS

Roughly estimate the number of plants you have, using the codes listed on the sheet, and the approximate number of open flowers per plant. For example, if you have 15 tomato plants, you would write the letter 'C', and then examine just   1-2 of those plants to see roughly how flowers are open, and write this in the third column e.g. 3. If you have several patches of the same crop, you might want to do each on a separate line. 

5. COUNT POLLINATORS

Count the number of different pollinators you observe visiting the flowers. This is an instant spot count of pollinator visitation, so just spend approx. 30 seconds looking at each crop, and try not to get disheartened if you don't spot any insects as this is just a snapshot of the visitation patterns. 

HOW OFTEN TO COUNT? 

 

You can conduct your pollinator counts as often as you wish! Every two weeks would be ideal to help us track how the numbers of each type of pollinator changes over the course of the summer, but if this is unmanagable, then please aim for at least one survey per month, and don't worry if you miss a week or two , the data will still be very valuable.  

WHERE TO SUBMIT DATA?

That's your first pollinator count done! Please then upload your data to our online form here or by clicking the button. If you'd prefer, you can also post them to the address at the bottom of the page.  Any questions or comments on the methods or reporting, check out the FAQ, Forum or Email us to let us know!

 

 

  • Beans

  • Peas

  • Aubergines

  • Tomatoes

  • Peppers

  • Pumpkins/Squash

INSECT-POLLINATED CROPS

  • Courgettes

  • Cucumbers

  • Fruit trees and bushes

    e.g. Apple, Cherry, Plum​

  • Soft fruits, berries, currants

   e.g. Strawberry, Raspberry

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