In this beginner course, you will be introduced to the skills and understanding required to reliably identify the species of bumblebee found across the UK. We also discuss collection equipment and techniques and the importance of generating biological records to better inform our understanding of the current state of the UK’s fauna.

There are currently 24 species of bumblebee present in Britain, with 8 varieties being fairly widespread no matter where you live in the UK. By looking at the colour of their tails and banding, some bumblebees can be identified in the field. However, queens, males and workers can vary in their appearance making some species harder to identify than others. This means that identifying bumblebees isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. This course is designed for people who have no prior experience in bee identification but who are interested in learning more about the humble bumblebee and the different species we have in the United Kingdom.

Tutor: Dr Will Leo Hawkes

Will is an insect migration scientist from north Wales based in Switzerland. He has been fascinated by insects for as long as he can remember. Bumblebees especially are among his favourites as they are everything from vital pollinators to amazing long-distance migrants.

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