The UK Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society (BWARS)
BWARS is a subscription based volunteer recording society, operating under the aegis of the UK Biological Records Centre (BRC). The Society is affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS).
The Society aims to promote the recording of aculeate Hymenoptera in Great Britain and Ireland, and to foster links with similar societies and interested individuals throughout Europe.
There are about 500 members (including museum and university professionals and overseas “Corresponding Members”) whose activities are directed by a small committee which guides policy. The vast majority of members are enthusiastic volunteer naturalists, without whom BWARS could not hope to gather the large amounts of data it requires.
The Society exists to gather distribution and biological data on the aculeate Hymenoptera (which includes many important pollinators), to provide advice and training to society members and the general public, and to promote understanding of aculeates.
The Society is prepared to consider making data available for specific purposes upon application to the Society via the NBN. Data at 10km resolution is freely available and may be downloaded from the Data Download Page.
The Society provides advice, via Hymettus, to the 3 statutory countryside agencies in England, Scotland and Wales.
Data is handled by a team of members who collect and process the data, preparing it for wider use. The process consists of a number of steps to validate then verify incoming data, using tools developed for BWARS. The fully cleaned and trimmed dataset is now in excess of 800,000 records. A public version of this, at 10km resolution, is available at https://www.bwars.com/content/bwars-data-download in both a CSV format and as a Shapefile. Anyone needing specific access is encouraged to contact BWARS, though please note that BWARS does not offer assistance with interpretation.
Andrena hattorfiana female on common scabious by Nick Owens
The Society publishes 2 newsletters a year, and (in association with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) a part of the Provisional Atlas of the Aculeate Hymenoptera of Britain and Ireland every 2 years (in which some 60 species are mapped at the resolution of 10x10km).
If you would like to join BWARS, membership is set at £20 per annum, which, as a new member, entitles you to the Members Handbook. More details are here.