Identifying Bees


Use this guide to help you and your children to identify the three main types of bees which are found in the UK: bumble bees, honey bees and solitary bees. 

Download/view the guide here

Within these types there are different species: 25 bumble bees; 225 solitary bees but only one species of honey bee. 

Test your powers of observation!  Look out for different bees in your garden and on your walks.   Spot  examples of Bee symbols used in other situations as well e.g. shop signs and adverts.  This B-Spy sheet, will help you make a start.

Download/view B-Spy sheet here

If you print one for each member of your family, you could compete to see who can spot the most examples in a week.

For safety reasons it is helpful for you to be able to identify wasps that are often mistaken for bees, but are much more dangerous because they are more liable to sting repeatedly as they do not die when they sting as bees do.

There are several different types of bumble bees in the UK. These ID sheets will help you identify them.

Identifying Bumblebees

Bumblebee fact sheet

Garden Bumblebees

All UK bumblebee species

Want to find out more? Visit the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust web site:

The younger members of your family will enjoy this story about ‘Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Bees’ which was recently written for the British Beekeepers Association. Download/view it here