Thank you for sharing your sightings with the North East Bee Hunt this spring and summer. A summary of this year’s results will be published this autumn.


bee records shared


recorders took part


bee species confirmed

Every Record Counts

Bees play an important role in the environment. To protect them, we need to know where they are. We need your help to record bees across the North East.

Many species are under-recorded in the North East. Your observations hold the key to revealing the mysteries surrounding bees across the region, from the Tees to the Tweed.

Urban or rural, beginner or expert, by taking part in the North East Bee Hunt, you’ll not only increase knowledge and understanding of these amazing insects but help protect bees for years to come.

Red-tailed Bumblebee © Charlotte Rankin

Discover the North East Bee Hunt

Explore how you can help monitor the North East’s bees this spring and summer.

Broken-belted Bumblebee © Louise Hislop

Share your records

Taking part in the bee hunt is simple. Find a bee, take a photo, and submit your record to our recording form on iRecord.

Sightings of all bee species are welcome. Whether you’ve spotted one of the target species, or something else, you can share your sighting below.

Please note that only records submitted to the North East Bee Hunt iRecord activity will count towards the project.

If you have an iRecord account, you can add the Bee Hunt to your Activities by joining here and clicking on the blue ‘Join’ button. You can then access the bee recording form via your Activities page or recording form on iRecord.

Male Tree Bumblebee © Charlotte Rankin

Meet our target species

We need your help to record eight distinctive yet overlooked bee species across the North East.

From the bumblebee-like Fork-tailed Flower Bee to the striking Red-tailed Cuckoo Bee, all of these species are likely to be encountered in gardens and green spaces close to home.

Meet this year’s North East Bee Hunt target species and find out how to identify them below.

Orange-tailed Mining Bee © Christopher Wren

Help identifying bees

Download a new bee identification guide (PDF) to help you identify this year’s target species or view the target species profiles.

Records of all bee species can be submitted to the North East Bee Hunt.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust also has a handy crib sheet (PDF) to help you identify common bumblebees.

If you’re unsure which bee you’ve seen, you can email us any time at or contact us on social media using #NorthEastBeeHunt.

Hairy-footed Flower Bee © Chris Wren

Bee basics›

When getting to grips with bee identification, it is useful to understand the basic parts that make up a bee and their life cycles. 

Explore bee basics as Charlotte Rankin introduces the anatomy and life cycle of the North East’s iconic pollinators.

Explore bee basics ›

Tawny Mining Bee © Matt Williamson

New to iRecord?›

iRecord is a national platform collating the observations and records of citizen scientists across the country. It helps your records get to where they need to be – informing conservation and research locally and nationwide.

New to iRecord? Here’s what you need to know to get started

How to use iRecord…›

Male Early Bumblebee © Charlotte Rankin

Your 2020 results›

From March through to September 2020, 2,451 bee records were shared by 170 naturalists across the region.

These records stretched from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Middlesbrough, from the uplands to the coast, and reaffirmed the importance of gardens and local greenspace for bees.

Explore the results… ›

More on North East bees

Delve into the world of bees and explore a range of helpful articles compiled by naturalists and bee enthusiasts across the North East.

Citizen Science ›
As part of the North East Bee Hunt, take a closer look at three bees closely associated with Heather and heathland sites in the North East….
Citizen Science ›
As we approach late summer, take a closer look at four male bumblebees you could encounter across the North East….
Citizen Science ›
Last week, North East naturalists and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust set out in search of bees at Prudhoe Riverside. Charlotte Rankin takes a look back at what they discovered….
Citizen Science ›
Take a look back at your North East Bee Hunt highlights so far in a new blog from local naturalist, Charlotte Rankin….
Citizen Science ›
Local naturalist, Charlotte Rankin, provides a short guide to the red-tailed bumblebees that you could spot across the North East….
Citizen Science ›
Local naturalist and Conservation Officer, Charlotte Rankin, introduces the nomad bees – a group of wasp-like bees that survive by exploiting the hard work of other solitary bees. …
Citizen Science ›
At the height of spring, queen bumblebees are out in force. Local naturalist, Charlotte Rankin, guides you through seven queen bumblebees you are likely to encounter this spring….
Invertebrates ›
Take a closer look at three species of mining bee that can be found in your garden…
Invertebrates ›
White-tailed bees can be a confusing bunch. Learn to identify some of the most frequently encountered species in a new post by Charlotte Rankin….
Invertebrates ›
Viper’s Bugloss is widely considered to be one of the best native plants for pollinators. Local naturalist, Christopher Wren, highlights bee diversity on this beautiful and beneficial plant…
Invertebrates ›
An introduction to the first of your North East Bee Hunt target species: the Ashy Mining Bee…
Invertebrates ›
An introduction to the second of our North East Bee Hunt target species: the Red Mason Bee…
Citizen Science ›
Leafcutter bees are a prominent sight in summer. Learn to spot these eye-catching pollinators with NHSN Conservation Officer, Charlotte Rankin….
Invertebrates ›
Discover bee diversity in the city as James Common highlights the bee species observed on his street in Heaton, Newcastle…
Invertebrates ›
Discover seven rare North East bees you could find in your own garden…
Invertebrates ›
Naturalist, Louise Hislop, introduces the North East’s overlooked & under-recorded small bees…
Archive & Library ›
We’ve asked NHSN members to tell us about their favourite field guides for the garden or on walks close to home. In this post, Rinke Vinkenoog suggests guides for identifying bees….
Invertebrates ›
Can you help track the changing distribution of one of the North East’s rarest bee species?…
Invertebrates ›
Charlotte Rankin provides an overview of the Dark-edged Bee-fly, the bee-fly species you are most likely to encounter in the North East….
Invertebrates ›
When recording bees, it pays to be wary of imposters. Here, Charlotte Rankin introduces five North East hoverflies with the potential to confuse observers….