Cartoon style depiction of four insects

Buzz Map

Date: 1 August 2023

Connecting local communities with biodiversity and DNA.

Buzz Map, is a new collaboration with five nature sites across East Anglia, connecting with communities to map flying insect populations in their local area using cutting-edge DNA science.

As part of the initial phase of Buzz Map, Wellcome Connecting Science have partnered with Colchester Zoo, Suffolk Wildlife Trust Carlton Marshes, Suffolk Wildlife Trust Lackford Lakes, RSPB Rainham Marshes, London Wildlife Trust Walthamstow Wetlands, and Zoological Society of East Anglia Banham Zoo, to launch this community science initiative.

Across these sites, volunteers and local communities will be able to engage first hand with cutting-edge DNA conservation science and learn more about how DNA can be used to understand our local insect populations and biodiversity.

Throughout the course of Buzz Map there will be lots of activities and events at each of the sites for communities to get involved in.


As part of this initiative, each of the five sites will be a part of the national BIOSCAN research project, led by the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

The BIOSCAN project aims to study the genetic diversity of 1,000,000 flying insects from all across the UK. Insects from 100 sites will be collected on a monthly basis and then analysed at the Wellcome Sanger Institute using a process called DNA barcoding.

DNA barcodes are short unique segments of DNA within a genome that can be used to identify different species, much like how barcodes are used to identify different shopping products. This method of identification is relatively fast and cheap. The resulting DNA sequence data will provide a baseline characterisation of insect species diversity over space and time and thus form a much needed resource for DNA-based biomonitoring and conservation in the UK.