Help the Bees

Bee by Gilliane Sills

Bumblebees and honey bees are declining in the UK, endangering the food chains that depend on them. We can all help reverse this trend.

Bee Identification Downloads

Amazing bee identification poster

Identify the types of bee in your garden with this amazing poster

 

Buff-tailed bumblee by Gilliane Sills

Can you spot all these different types of bumblebee buzzing in your garden?

Different kinds of bees

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

We're all familiar with the sound of masses of buzzing bees on a warm summer's day. But did you know that these bees can be many different species?

There are several hundred different types of bee resident in the British Isles. We talk about two different groups: social bees and solitary bees.

Other insects like hoverflies, hornet moths and clearwing moths, mimic the colours of bees so they don't get eaten.

Social bees

As their name suggests, social bees live in groups. Honeybees are particularly sociable and can live in groups of up to 50,000 together in a single hive. Bumblebees are also social, but live in smaller groups of 50-150. Both types depend on queen bees who lay all of the eggs for the group.

Social bees are a common sight in our gardens. You might see (click on the picture for more information):

Common carder beeHoney beeRed-tailed bumblebee White-tailed bumblebee Early bumblebee Small garden bumblebee Tree bumblebee

Solitary bees

In contrast, solitary bees live on their own. They can make burrows underground, or live in quarry faces, old wood, and even masonry. A female solitary bee builds her nest and provides food for her young without the help of any worker bees. Despite this some solitary bees may appear to live in colonies, with many bees making their nests close to each other in a suitable piece of habitat.

There are over 250 kinds of solitary bee. Here are a few you might see (click on the picture for more information):

Leaf-cutter beeRed mason beeTawny mining beeIvy bee

Help bees in your own garden

Find out what you can do to help bees here.

Plant a wildflower meadow

Bernwood Meadow. Photo by Wendy Tobitt.

Plant your own wildflower meadow and provide a haven for bees and butterflies in your garden.

Find out how to create and manage a wildflower meadow.

Help the bees

Bee by Gilliane Sills

Bumblebees and honey bees are declining in the UK, endangering the food chains that depend on them. We can all help reverse this trend.

Find out how