Discovering Bees Online

There are around 270 species of bee in Britain, although many are under-recorded, under-appreciated and under-loved!  Found in a range of habitats, bees and have fascinating life histories and ecosystem roles.

If you’re interested in finding out more about bees but don’t feel ready for a beginner’s ID workshop, then this is the course for you. Discovering Bees is a very gentle introduction to our planets most important pollinators, introducing aspects of their biology and ecology and aims to give learners the skills and confidence to learn more about the lives and ecological role of bees.

  • 4-week online course for adults, with a weekly time commitment of 3-5 hours per week.
  • Access to study content, activities and tutor-graded assignments through the FSC virtual learning platform.
  • Access to weekly live virtual classroom sessions at the end of each week with the course tutor through Zoom (recorded for those that are unable to attend the live sessions).
  • E-certificate upon course completion.
  • Learners will benefit from having access to a 10X hand lens to get the most out of this course.
  • Please note that this course is NOT a species identification course and will only go as far as categorising British bees by their life histories.

What topics are covered in this course?

  • BWA201 Bee Biology will discuss where bees fit into the animal kingdom, their role as beneficial insects and how they have evolved into either solitary or social lifestyles. We will also look into their anatomy, life cycles and communication, as well as the mechanisms they use to defend themselves from predators.
  • BWA202 Bee Ecology & Diversity will look into the basic ecological needs of bees and the habitat requirements they depend on in order to survive. We will also look to give an overview of the species diversity of bees in the United Kingdom and the insects which mimic bees for protection.
  • BWA204 Bees as Pollinators will look at the process of pollination, its importance for sustaining a healthy environment and the significant role bees play in this process as the worlds most important pollinators. We will also touch on the different ways in which solitary and social bees contribute to pollination services and the specific flower preferences of some widespread species.
  • BWA206 Finding Wild Bees will discuss how to find wild bees in the UK, including the types of landscapes and habitats which are most suited to different species. We will also cover the techniques used by professionals and amateurs to catch bees. We will undertake a Flower Inspected Timed count survey, to provide you with the experience and confidence to start observing pollinators.

An e-certificate of course completion will be sent to any participants that successfully complete all of the course components.


Regular Price: £60 (for professionals and residents outside of the UK)

Subsidised Price: £20 (subsidised by the FSC BioLinks project for non-professionals eg. volunteers, biological recorders, wildlife gardeners, amateur naturalists and students. Available to UK residents only.)

How does this course work?

  • This course will require approximately 3 to 4 hours of your time each week, and consists of four weekly topics.
  • For each topic, there will be several resources and activities for you to work through in your own time, as well as assignments for you to complete before the end of the week.
  • Each topic will end with a 45-minute live webinar with the course tutor, these will consist of discussions and exercises that reflect on the learning of the previous week.
  • Please email if you have any questions.

Live webinars

The webinars will take place every Tuesday for the duration of the course:

  • Week 1: Tuesday 7th September 2021, 1:00pm – 1:45pm
  • Week 2: Tuesday 14th September 2021, 1:00pm – 1:45pm
  • Week 3: Tuesday 21st September 2021, 1:00pm – 1:45pm
  • Week 4: Tuesday 28th September 2021, 1:00pm – 1:45pm

The webinars will be recorded for those that are unable to attend the live sessions.

Want to know more? Check out this blog

How to Apply

Book via the FSC website:

Please mention when enrolling in this Course!

Key Information

Start date:

30th August 2021 at 9:00am




Field Studies Council




Biodiversity, Biology, Conservation, Ecology, Education, Nature & Wildlife


FSC Virtual, United Kingdom