You can make a big difference for bees in 2020 by recording the species seen in your garden. Right across the North East, every record counts. Spread the word and join the North East Bee Hunt
Thank you so much to everyone who took part in the North East Bee Hunt, your records and observations made a real difference for bees this summer. The project will return in 2021 with new target species for you to discover.
Throughout the autumn and winter, you can share any outstanding records or new observations using the iRecord link below. These will help paint a clearer picture of bee distribution in the North East.
We hope you will join us again to explore the North East’s bees next year.
Bees play an important role in the environment. To protect them, we need to know as much as we can about their distribution.
Many bees are under-recorded in the North East and for some, we know surprisingly little about their distribution. Gaps in our knowledge suggest that some nationally common species are few and far between in the North East, but is this really the case? Your records can help us find out!
Urban or rural, beginner or expert, naturalist or nature lover, everyone can help to increase our knowledge and awareness of bees in the North East. That’s why, this spring and summer, we’re asking you to get out and about in search of five distinctive bee species.
We’ve created a bee identification guide (PDF) to help you identify the target species. If you have sighted a different species of bumblebee, The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has a handy crib sheet (PDF) to help you identify common bumblebees.
Taking part in the NE Bee Hunt is simple. Locate one of five target species, take a photo and submit your record to the North East Bee Hunt portal on iRecord.
New to iRecord? Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Please note that only records submitted to the North East Bee Hunt iRecord activity will count towards the project. We cannot access records submitted elsewhere on the site.
Wish to submit your records by email? Download this straightforward form. Please return this, alongside any photos at email@example.com.
Every record counts! Whether you live in Northumberland, Tyneside, Durham or Teesside. No matter the size of your garden, we’d love you to get involved. Download the identification guide and join the North East Bee Hunt.
Queens and workers have shiny hind legs that are used to collect pollen, called pollen baskets. Males do not collect pollen and lack these shiny hind legs. Males are produced later in the summer.
Aerially e.g., bird boxes, holes in trees, roof eaves
Usually underground e.g., old rodent burrows
The females of the following target species are very distinctive. However, males of solitary bees are less distinctive and more care and expertise is required.
In the bare or sparsely vegetated ground, often in aggregations
In the ground (e.g lawn and short turf), often in aggregations
Difficult to distinguish from other male solitary bees
Aerial-nesting in holes of walls and timber, frequent occupier of garden bee hotels
Tawny Mining Bee is similarly coloured, but has a strong contrasting red and black look and nests in the ground.
If you would like to hear more about the project, please sign-up at the top of this page.
If you would like to learn more about bumblebees in the North East, please consider purchasing a digital copy of Bumblebees of North East England for only £4.00.