POSTPONED until 2019: August Annual Recorders’ Event, Roscommon.

Apologies to all but due to logistical constraints we’re having to postpone this year’s Shrill Carder Annual Recorder’s Event until 2019.  Having surveyed our target sites last month, between changes in habitat quality and ownership of land, it was proving very challenging to identify good quality sites with safe access for our group.  Overall, we felt it best to postpone the event until next year to ensure that we’ll be able to have the best field event for the Shrill Carder and recorder alike.


(C) Peter Harvey
Shrill Carder Bee (Bombus sylvarum)


2018 Our latest newsletter is available for download

We collectively spent 491 hours, walked 883 km and recorded 12,969 bumblebees last year, but how did our bumblebees fare in 2017? To find out, click on our latest newsletter below.

2018 February Newsletter
2018 February Newsletter

2018 Monitoring Scheme Workshops

Here is the current list of our bumblebee monitoring scheme workshops in 2018. There is a limited series of workshops this year we’ll be providing an increasing number of workshops to partners on the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. On the day we cover all aspects of the monitoring scheme including species identification, use of the online data capture system and an afternoon outside putting the skills into practice. Hope to see you there!


Offaly: 14th April, 11am – 4pm. Tullaghmore, Scoil Mhuire, Kilcruttin.

Booking: Ray Carroll, Tullaghmore Tidy Towns,


Meath: 28th April, 11am – 4pm. Navan, St. Columban’s Dalgan Park.

Booking: Tomás Murray,


Dublin: 3rd May, 10:45 am – 3 pm. Marlay Park House, Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.

Booking: Lorraine O’Hara, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Co. Council,


Roscommon: 9th June, 11am – 4pm. Castlecoote, St. Ciaran’s Community Centre.

Booking: Corina Hand, Roscommon Co. Council,


Ireland’s Next Top Bumblebee!

Amid concerns about declines in Irish bees, one hardy bumblebee is bucking the trend and has just arrived in Ireland.  This month the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) was spotted by Michael O’Donnell on the 14th September in St. Stephen’s Green foraging on Rudbeckia.  We’ve had a series of unconfirmed sightings of this bee over the past few years, so we’re delighted that: a) it has finally been confirmed and we can welcome a new pollinator to our shores; b) that it was by one our excellent volunteers in the Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme and c) it was on one of the pollinator-friendly plants we’ve been recommending for urban plantings in the Pollinator Plan!

Photo by Michael O’Donnell, 14/09/2017

Arriving in southern England from France in 2001, the Tree Bumblebee has rapidly spread by over 50 km per year across Britain and has now finally crossed the Irish Sea. The Tree Bumblebee is a common and widespread species in continental Europe, and its rapid spread throughout Britain and now into Ireland is believed to be due to its unique approach to nesting.  Unlike most bumblebee species which make their nests at ground level, in long grass or in old abandoned rodent nests, Tree Bumblebees nest in holes in trees or other similar structures and are commonly found in empty bird boxes.  It also tends to specialise on early flowering trees such as Apple, Blackthorn, Hawthorn and Willow; floral resources that our other bumblebees do use but do not tend to specialise upon.

The All-Ireland Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme is now in a unique position worldwide in that we have an existing bumblebee monitoring scheme in place prior to the arrival of a new bumblebee!  Between our network of recorders and bumblebee monitors, we’ll be able to collectively draw a detailed picture of the spread of a new bumblebee within our pollinator communities and what impact this may or may not have.  So keep your eyes peeled for something that may initially look like a Common Carder Bumblebee (B. pascuorum), but with black hairs on it’s head and abdomen and a white tail.  It is commonly associated with parks and gardens, and is frequently encountered nesting in bird boxes or similar cavities relatively high off the ground, quite unlike our other species.

Finally, for anyone still wishing to find a ‘first’ for Ireland, there’s another bee we’d like you to look for too!


Past monitoring scheme events and workshops