Flower-Insect Timed Count (FIT Count)
Watch a 50x50cm patch of flowers for 10 minutes and record how many insects visit.
Why is it important: There are concerns that the numbers of pollinating insects such as bees and flies are declining, but we need much more data to be able to track changes in abundance. You can help by doing a Flower-Insect Timed Count (FIT Count) which is designed to collect new data on the numbers of flower-visiting insects.
How to take part: FIT Counts are very simple – you watch a patch of flowers for 10 minutes and count how many insects visit and then submit your data online. The scheme runs from April to September. Your location can be anywhere e.g., garden, farm, park, school. Doing this across various action sites and then repeating through the year and across future years will show you the impact of management changes on insect numbers and diversity.
Requirements: None, suitable for all. You don’t need to identify the insects to species level, but only to tally within broad groups e.g., bumblebee, butterflies & moths, wasp, beetle.
Time commitment: 10 minutes plus 5 minutes to input data online
Difficulty level: Easy
Find out more: Visit the scheme website at: https://biodiversityireland.ie/surveys/fit-counts/