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BWARS forum - first, please read this

This forum is a place to discuss matters related to BWARS and general matters related to aculeates.

 

It is not intended as a forum for identification queries. We may add this feature in due course, but meanwhile, if you need help identifying bees, wasps and ants, please use either iRecord or UK Bees, Wasps and Ants Facebook page, for recording your find.

 

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BWARS AGM 2021

BWARS AGM and Members’ Day took place on Sunday 24th October 2021 from 10:00 am

Meeting was held over Zoom

AGM Agenda

There will be the opportunity to ask short questions via the Chat function on Zoom.

Voting will take place ‘en bloc’ at the end of each section, via Zoom poll. The poll question will read: ‘On the motion before us, do you agree?’ and the options will be ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘abstain’.

Flying Ant Days - we need your data.

Flying Ant Days - please enter your observations here Enter data page

Scientists from the University of Leeds are looking for assistence in collecting data on where and when "flying ant days occur". Please help by completing an online form at the link above. You can read more about this BioDAR Project to the right.

What is the difference between an insect and a raindrop?

Weather radars are constantly collecting information about rain, but in doing so a lot of other data is collected too - including data relating to insects. Evidence concerning worldwide insect declines is growing, and weather radar data represents a new way of monitoring what insects are doing over large spatial scales. This is what we at the BioDAR project are interested in - creating an openly accessible “weather map” of aerial insect activity across the UK.

The BioDAR Project was conceived by a group of biologists and radar scientists at the University of Leeds. The project was designed to use a mixture of machine learning, field observations, and 3D modelling to determine the extent of the ecological information that can be extracted from weather radar data. Like many of us, the pandemic disrupted our lives and workflow; it put our fieldwork and in-situ data collection on hold and we had to think of different ways to help validate some of our research questions, so we turned to mass swarming events and citizen science.

Each year in the UK we witness “flying ant day” - several days across each summer where males and new queens from species like the black garden ant (Lasius niger) take to the air to mate and disperse in search of new nesting sites. We are using these swarming events to see if this massive increase in insect activity can be detected by our weather radar.

But to do this we need your help!

We have created a quick and easy web survey that you can fill in to help us track flying ant swarms across the UK. So if you see flying ants this year, please report your sightings - we’d really appreciate it! The survey be found here: https://forms.gle/P3Tof3os6idBCYMA6, or by scanning the QR code below, and takes less than a minute to fill in.

If we are able to reliably detect flying ant swarm activity using weather radars, this will allow us to explore in-depth the environmental conditions that trigger swarming; not only at ground level, but also at higher altitudes. It will also give us a peek into how spatially restricted (or not) their dispersal is, and whether this differs across different landscapes. And finally, it will enable us to map this phenomenon over time, and investigate how environmental change affects flying ant activity.

If you have any questions concerning BioDAR or our flying ant project, please contact Prof. Elizabeth Duncan at e.j.duncan@leeds.ac.uk or Tom Dally at t.m.dally@leeds.ac.uk

 

ANT HELP NEEDED

Hi All,

I am aware that there are plenty of records on NBN for many of these, but they are often dated.  What I am after is recent info. where someone knows now where a species can be found.  I have limited time for this (this field season basically) plus, I may well have to make quite long journerys so I would like to be as sure as I can that I will find what I am looking for when I get there.  Your reward, acknowledgement in the book!  I will take only photographs and maybe a few specimens.  However, I am not collecting as such but getting photos for the book.

 

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