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Bee Watch

Please click the bluebird symbol to email Chris Hague-Smith the group contact for any further information.
For information on this Bee Watch group, the national BeeWalk Scheme & some free goodies, scroll to the foot of this page.

2020 
MEOPHAM BEE WALKS:
Currently we have 5 established BeeWalks - click a walk's name in the list below to find more information about it &/or to email the walk leader:
>>  Cobham, Trosley, Northfield, Meopham, or Jeskyns. <<

Read about our >> LOCAL COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES << via this link.
For the Meopham Bee Watch Group's past history & some pictures click  >>  HERE  <<

2020 SEASON EVENTS:

All training events & our 5 regular Bee Walks WERE CANCELLED AS MEOPHAM U3A GROUP EVENTS due to the coronavirus situation, & also all BBCT Training Events until further notice. (See: https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/). From 13th May 2020 government restrictions on outdoor activity changed to allow more exercise outdoors & some travel to open spaces, provided that rules on social distancing were followed. As a result, the BBCT decided that BeeWalk transect recording could resume across Great Britain, providing that that transects were walked alone or with household members, staying at least 2 metres from anyone else at all times.
From July 4th, social distancing guidance in England changed to "1 metre plus", & those categorised as "clinically extremely vulnerable" (or "shielders") could go outside for exercise and, from Monday 6 July, meet up to five other people outdoors whilst social distancing.

This appears to allow our bee walks to be resumed reasonably safely in groups up to 6 people provided the official guidance is followed. It has also been recommended that face masks be worn when near others. So far Jeskyns, Northfield & Cobham have tentatively restarted with reduced numbers & strict social distancing. The latest government directives must be followed; these are updated regularly & may change at short notice. 

There is no pressure on anyone to resume walking their transects until they feel safe & comfortable doing so.  If your circumstances allow, & you feel ready to do so, please contact your walk leader to ascertain the current situation for your walk. Currently groups are limited to a maximum of six people at any one time.
We thank all group members most sincerely for their efforts & hope everyone will stay safe.

Even if you are not on a BeeWalk, if you see any bumblebees your sightings can be sent to:
 i-record (https://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/), BWARS (https://www.bwars.com/),or Friends Of The Earth Bee Count (https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bee-count).

Article In "Third Age Matters": An article about our Meopham Bee Watch Group appeared on P49 of the Spring 2020 Issue 41. Download a copy using the attachment at the foot of this page.

A New App: The BBCT has created an app 'What’s that Bumblebee'  with augmented reality to help with bumble bee identification. If your smartphone does not support augmented reality, the app is nevertheless very useful for identifying the 'Big Eight' (i.e. the commonest bumblebee species), especially for beginners. Go to https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/3d-app-brings-uk-bumblebees-to-life-on-your-phone/. From here there are links to Google Play and the Apple App store, from where 'What’s that Bumblebee' can be downloaded for free.
                   Chris Hague-Smith, (Meopham U3A Bee Watch Group Contact).

THIS YEAR'S WALKS WERE SCHEDULED AS FOLLOWS (Except where marked *):
Cobham:     Meet 1st Tues of month @ 14.00, White Lane Car Park:  Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5, Jun 2, Jul 7, Aug 4, Sep 1, Oct 6.                Contact Beryl
Trosley:       Meet 1st Fri of Month      @ 10.30 for 11.00, at Café:        Mar 13*, Apr 3, May 1, Jun 5, Jul 3, Aug 7, Sep 4, Oct 2.              Contact Moira
Northfield:  Meet 2nd Wed of month  @ 11.00, Black Lion, Hartley:     Mar 11, Apr 8, May 13, Jun 10, Jul 8, Aug 12, Sep 9, Oct 14.        Contact Chris
Meopham:  Meet 3rd Tues of month   @ 13.30, Johns Road:               Mar 17, Apr 21, May 19, Jun 16, Jul 21, Aug 18, Sep 15, Oct 20.  Contact Helen
Jeskyns:     Meet 4th Tue of month    @ 14.00 at Café:                        Mar 24, Apr 28, May 26, Jun 23, Jul 28, Aug 25, Sep 22, Oct 27.  Contact Anne-Marie

ABOUT THE BEE WALK SCHEME:
BeeWalk,
 a national recording scheme operated by the BBCT, monitors the abundance of bumblebees across the UK. Volunteers identify & count the bumblebees they see on a 1 hour walk monthly from Mar to Oct.
MEOPHAM U3A BEE WATCH GROUP
, (the UK U3A’s very 1st Bee Watch Group), was formed in Feb 2017 following an inspirational talk to Meopham U3A in Oct 2016 by Dr Nikki Gammans from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT). We decided to organize some initial training & then a number of BeeWalks in small groups for the summer months & to hold occasional whole group meetings, further training &/or other events.
Anyone can become a BeeWalker – you decide on a fixed route (about a mile) then walk it each month & send in your sightings. It is fixed to allow direct comparisons of bumblebee population trends over time. All data collected contributes to important long-term monitoring of bumblebee population changes in response to land-use & climate changes. This helps to detect early warning signs of population declines & inform how our countryside is managed.

   Bee Walk Survey Scheme info click HERE.
   Bee Walk PDF pack to download click HERE.
   Blooms for Bees - a great app with some good photographs.
   Free d
ownload at Blooms for Bees (Apple) or Blooms for Bees (Android)

Chris Hague-Smith, Bee Watch Group Co-ordinator

Attachments:
Download this file (TAM Article.pdf)TAM Article.pdf[ ]561 kB

Hello, I said Hello....

Yes we are still open, Its about time for a change of attitude.... Things will be a long time getting back to the old normal so let's get busy being positive and planning for our continuing Meopham U3A future.
Group contacts have been emailed by Heather and me, (Gus) asking for information about your groups and your website page and if not much has happened PLEASE be courteous and at least reply  as it all helps us to understand how our U3A is coping.
Face to face meetings of any type are going to be difficult as we all have our own "Bubbles" to feel safe in but online group quizes, coffee mornings or just a phone call can be helpful for many who miss personal contact. 
Help is available and dont be scared to ask / email someone on committee who will point you in the right direction and for many try asking grandchildren for help, I do!!
As you can see from this list many of the groups are keeping the members informed of what is going on.

Amblers:   have done one distanced outdoor walk
Art Appreciation:   meeting fortnightly via Zoom - temporary members welcome
Bee Watch:   email bee sightings
Book Club 1/2/3:   all meeting via Zoom
Bridge:   hoping to organise meetings in gardens in groups of 4
Canasta:   weekly newsletter to keep in touch
Current Affairs1:   meeting fortnightly via Zoom
Cycling/For Softies:   have held one outdoor ride
French Advanced:   meet on Tuesday via Zoom
Improvers 1:   meeting via Zoom
Improvers 2:   meet via Zoom / WhatsApp
Intermediate:   Zoom on Tuesday evening
Genealogy:   Zoom meeting planned for July - new members welcome
German:   meeting twice monthly via Zoom
Guitar:   fortnightly Zoom / WhatsApp contact
History1:   fortnightly Zoom meetings
Italian Beginners:   have met in gardens.
Italian Intermediate:
  Reviewing the situation ready for re-start in September
Meditation:   using WhatsApp for guided meditations
Music for Pleasure:   monthly Zoom - have honorary members
Needlecraft:   all active on WhatsApp
Painting/Drawing:   using WhatsApp to share and discuss work
Patchwork:   garden meetings planned
Petanque:  Awaiting goverment advice as to when restart is possible

Photography:   meet on Cluster to post photos
Quilting:   using WhatsApp to share work
Singing- ladies:   meet weekly on Tuesday morning via Zoom
Singing - men:   fortnightly Zoom meetings
Spanish:   fortnightly Zoom meetings
Wine Appreciation 1:   Zoom meeting on usual Thursday
2:   Zoom meet on Wednesday / WhatsApp group
3:   weekly Zoom meeting

Gus.