The North East Bee Hunt is back! Join in today to find, photograph and record bees across the North East.


bee sightings shared this year


recorders taking part


bee species spotted

Your sightings count

Bees play an important role in the environment. To protect them, we need to know where they are and how they’re doing. 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.

Share a bee sighting

Taking part in the bee hunt is simple. Find a bee, take a photo, and share your sighting with NHSN. There are two ways to do this:

Red-tailed Cuckoo Bees (males) © Charlotte Rankin

Bee Week North East!

Running from 1-7 August 2022, Bee Week North East is a week-long celebration of our region’s beautiful bees.

To help protect bees in the future, we’re asking you to get out and about to record them using iNaturalist.

Taking part is easy: simply find a bee, take a photo and share your sighting. Urban or rural, beginner or expert, everyone can help.

Broken-belted Bumblebee © Louise Hislop

Take part on iRecord

From bumblebees to mining bees, sightings of all bee species are welcome.

Please note that only records submitted through the North East Bee Hunt iRecord form 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

Share a sighting with NHSN

If you are having trouble using iRecord or would like to share a one-off sighting, you can now share records direct with NHSN.

When submitting a sighting, please ensure that all fields are completed.

Please also provide an image alongside your sighting – this helps experts confirm and verify your finds.

Garden Bumblebee

Meet our spotlight species

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

In a series of species profiles, meet the North East Bee Hunt spotlight species and find out how to identify them below.

Bellflower Blunthorn Bee © Chris Barlow

Help identifying bees

From bumblebees to mining bees, the North East Bee Hunt welcomes records of all wild bee species.

Explore a range of online and printed bee resources to help you identify your finds.

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

Male Red Mason Bee © Ryan Clark

Bee basics›

Explore bee basics as NHSN Invertebrate Section Co-Coordinator, Charlotte Rankin, introduces the anatomy, life cycle and key identification features 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…›

© Chris Barlow

Explore North East bees

From queen bumblebees to the late-flying Ivy Bee, discover bees you can observe through the seasons across the North East.

Explore the timeline… ›

Male Early Bumblebee ‘nectar robbing’ © Charlotte Rankin

Your 2021 results›

Together, you shared over 4,500 records of 44 bee species from across the region. From the uplands to the coast, new sites were revealed, scarcer bees were observed, and more people than ever before took part.

Explore the results… ›

More on North East bees

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