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Press release

National insect week events

Free Darwin Centre Live events at the Natural History Museum
Monday 14 to Sunday 20 June
Webcast live at

Insects are everywhere. One of every three living species is an insect and new types are being discovered all the time. Celebrate the first ever National Insect Week in a series of free Darwin Centre Live events. Discover the mini-beasts that lurk in your garden, join in national surveys or bring your own bugs for identification at an insect roadshow.

Bumblebees: Getting the Buzz
Monday 14 June, 14.30
Bumblebees perform an important job pollinating plants, but they are in decline in the UK and to conserve them we need to know where they like to nest. Discover how the National Bumblebee Nest Survey, running in June 2004, will provide vital information and find out how you can join in the survey to help save the bumblebee.

Shedding Light on the Glow-worm
Tuesday 15 June, 12.00

Could artificial lights be outshining glow-worms? This is one of the questions the National Glow-worm Survey will try to answer during National Insect Week. Join us to shed light on these amazing insects and look at the impact we might be having on their lives.

A Neglected Environmental Issue
15 June 2004, 14.30
Join Matt Shardlow, conservation director of Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, to discover how to survey the variety of our wildlife on a small scale.

Fabulous Beasts – Insects in Art
Wednesday 16 June, 12.00 and 14.30
Enter a world of the extraordinary, where the microscopic becomes gigantic and the lines between art and scientific illustration become blurred in the new Fabulous Beasts exhibition. Join the exhibition’s curator for a guided walk through the space and a chance to discuss the links between science and art. Places are limited, so bookings are recommended on 020 7942 5555.

Spare Time Scientists
Wednesday 16 June, 19.00

Bug collectors, twitchers and naturalists – a neglected scientific resource? Can a hobby transform our understanding of a species? Are professional researchers too dismissive of spare time scientists? Join researchers, nature lovers and science enthusiasts to discuss the impact of amateur science societies and discover how you can become involved.
Places are FREE, but must be booked in advance on 020 7942 5555

British Insects in the Field – the Work of the BENHS
Thursday 17 June, 12.00

Find out about the importance of responsible fieldwork and how you can become involved in studying and preserving Britain’s insect fauna.

Climate Change and Global Warming: Predicting the Emergence of Parasitic Diseases
Thursday 17 June, 14.30

Global warming is changing the ranges of many insect pests, including mosquitoes and sandflies. Discover how studying insect DNA makes it possible to look at past distribution patterns and predict and prepare for the insect pests, and associated diseases, that may be coming to the British Isles in the near future.

What Have Lacewings Got To Sing About?
Friday 18 June, 12.00

Green lacewings are widely used by farmers to combat crop pests such as aphids, scale insects and caterpillars. Discover how new research has shown that what was thought to be one species is actually a complex range of species. These different species live in different ecologies and are reproductively isolated by their characteristic songs. Find out about the repercussions this research has had on pest control.

Friday 18 June, 14.30

Join an exploration of these fascinating insects, through their 250-million-year fossil record to how human activity threatens many species with extinction. Then join a mini field trip to see the dragonflies living in the Museum’s Wildlife Garden.

Focus on Fleas
19 June 2004, 14.30

There’s more to fleas than meets the eye. Take a look as the humble flea goes under the microscope to reveal its life, history, and role in carrying diseases. Then discover the quirky relationship between people and fleas, from ‘dressed fleas’ and flea circuses to the poems, cartoons and literature they have inspired.

Insect Roadshow
Sunday 20 June, 12.00 and 14.30

Darwin Centre Live wants your beetles, flies and earwigs! Whether local or exotic, have your insect identified then take a closer look through a microscope and discover more about the species and how it lives. A must for bug fans, keen gardeners and insect-mad kids.

Darwin Centre Live in the GlaxoSmithKline Studio at the Natural History Museum is a free programme of informal events where visitors can talk to scientists, hear more about their work at the Museum and around the world and see the fascinating specimens they work with. For further information, please visit

- Ends -

Visitor information
Venue: Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum,
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
Dates: Monday 14 to Sunday 20 June
Public enquiries: 020 7942 5000
Entry: free to all

The Natural History Museum is open Monday - Saturday 10.00-17.50, Sunday-11.00-17.50
The Natural History Museum's public enquiries telephone number is 020 7942 5000
The Museum is accessible to visitors in wheelchairs.
For access details telephone 020 7942 5000
Entry to the Museum: FREE

For images or further information, please contact:

Chloe Kembery or Jo Glyde, Science Communication PR
Tel: 020 7942 5880/5881
Email: or
(not for publication)

Issued May 2004