Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a member?
You don’t become a member as such, you sign up as a supporter. This allows you to access our material, attend our events, and generally become a part of our community.
How much does it cost?
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Why do you have supporters rather than members?
We gave this a great deal of thought during the formation of the society. A membership model carries a substantial management burden, with things like fee collection and accounting, member databases, renewal dates, insurance liabilities and so on. While this is workable for a large society, it’s simply an unjustifiable overhead for a relatively small specialized group like ourselves. We are, basically, a networking community.
Do you carry liability insurance for your supporters?
No, we do not provide you with any sort of cover, and if you attend our events you will explicitly have to accept personal liability. We recommend BENHS as an organization which provides cover for practicing entomologists. In the present climate, we consider it unwise to perform field entomology without this type of cover.
Can my company advertise on your web site?
Yes, we welcome advertisers from relevant organizations whose ethical code is consistent with ours. A small fee will be charged. Please approach The Secretary if you are interested.
Are there age restrictions for supporters?
Safeguarding requirements limit us to welcoming supporters who are 18 or over at the time of application. We do seek to encourage young talent, so may work with other relevant organisations to deliver this.
Do I need experience with Coleoptera before I can become a supporter?
No, but we are expecting our supporters to largely comprise experienced, active, or seriously interested people. Joining is not to be taken lightly, as we ask you to confirm that you will follow our ethical principles, codes for recording and collecting, and generally conduct yourself in a manner appropriate to a scientific society. If you wish to simply be kept informed of events in the beetle world, you can follow our twitter feed and other social media.
Can you identify my beetles for me?
We don’t offer identification services. There is a very active Facebook group “Beetles of Britain and Ireland” which is very good for small numbers of informal queries. Posting images on our social media feeds will also often get a rapid response from one of our supporters. For larger numbers of specimens or images you will have to seek the efforts of a professional who makes a living from this.
Can I join the Management Committee?
There is an AGM process in much the same way as any society, with details in the constitution. We would expect that potential new committee members would open a dialogue with us beforehand, and might informally contribute to our organizational efforts.
Can I give you money to support your efforts?
Of course. Please contact The Secretary who will put you in direct contact with The Treasurer. However please be aware that we do not offer any concessions or preferences for such donations, which must be freely given.
Do you have charitable status? I’d like to reclaim the tax on any donations.
No, we are not registered as a charity.
Will there be a charge to attend events?
This will vary depending on the event, but it is our intention to minimize costs and financial activities for all parties. For events which require accommodation, attendees are responsible for their own booking and payment, and for all their travel and subsistence costs. None of these requirements are booked through ColSoc. We simply provide the event. We will, however, need you to book on to the event via our website, as we need to estimate, and in some cases limit, numbers. This of course only applies to those events specifically organized by ColSoc. We will be advertising events from other organizers, and accept no liability for these as they are beyond our control.
Do Supporters get discount or preferential rates with any suppliers?
No, as it’s free to join, we don’t yet have the resources to organize this.
Are your events accessible to disabled persons?
All indoor events will be held at venues with disabled access. However, the nature of field entomology makes disabled provision difficult, if not impossible in some cases. It is our intent to visit some locations that may be more remote and under-recorded, compounding the problem. Anyone with a disability, who wishes to become involved in field meetings, should contact the society well beforehand, so that possibilities can be discussed.
Do you kill the beetles you find?
It is often necessary to kill specimens for accurate identification and the preservation of a scientific record. To minimize this, we do conform to the Invertebrate Link Code of Conduct for Collecting Insects and Other Invertebrates, and require that our supporters also do so. If you are opposed to this position, ColSoc is not the correct society for you to join.
How do you choose locations for your field events?
One of our objects is to add new knowledge to the distribution of beetles. To do this, we focus mainly on regions and sites that have been poorly recorded in the past, rather than “classic” locations. We see less value in visiting well-studied locations to search for species that are already known to occur, no matter how rare they might be.
What happens to the records that you produce on your field events?
We consider transparency essential, so all our records are ultimately sent to the national iRecord system. This ensures they are publicly available and remain securely stored. We provide advice for our supporters unfamiliar with this system.