Assessment of Bee Activity at the Kidneys, Oxford, 2017
A survey of bees at The Kidneys throughout 2017, comparing sown plots of bee-friendly flora with that of the surrounding grassland, has shown that bumblebees were strongly attracted to the sown flora but the plots were of little benefit to solitary bees. Overall, nine species of bumblebee were recorded and 20 species of solitary bee. It can be concluded that while the sown plots are of considerable benefit to the local bumblebee population, there is much potential to improve the site: by extending the flowering season into the spring to help the establishment of bumblebee colonies, and by increasing the number of plots (already underway) and the diversity of flora throughout the year.
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A Survey of Bees and Wasps 2017 (compared with 2011)
Invertebrates were sampled at Aston’s Eyot with an emphasis on wild bees and wasps, and using a combination of both hand netting and yellow pan traps. Five sunny days were chosen for surveying, with a minimum of two weeks between each. Typically, on survey days, 15 traps – in groups of three – were in place from 9am to 4pm. The trapping locations where not always the same on each visit but were selected to be near the most suitable flowering plants on the day.
A similar survey was conducted in 2011 with four survey days from March to September. A notable difference between the two surveys is that the summer visits in 2011 were in June and September, whereas in 2017 they were in July and August.
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