Minibeasts to look for in April — Bee


Where to look

Anywhere where there are flowers such as gardens, parks and woodland edges.


There are more than 250 species of bee in the UK. They can be divided into social bees (those that nest together in large groups) and solitary bees (those which live alone in a single nest). Bumblebees and honeybees are social bees. Bumblebees nest in colonies ranging from a few dozen to several hundred bees while honeybees now mostly live in hives of up to 20,000. There is only one species of honeybee in this country and they have been domesticated for hundreds of years, so it is rare to find a truly wild colony. Honey is their way of storing food for bad times which allows colonies to survive the winter. On the other hand, bumble bees live their life in just one year. Queens hibernate deep underground, living off fat built up over the summer before. As soon as the weather warms up they wake up, feed, then lay eggs (using stored sperm) which will turn into new workers.  There are different types of solitary bees, those which will build single nests in the ground (mining bees), those which nest in cavities in wood, hollow stems and walls (mason bees) and those which lay their eggs in other solitary or social bee nests (cuckoo bees).

A sting is a modified egg laying tube (ovipositor) and in honeybees it is barbed like a hook. If it stings anything but another insect, it gets stuck and part of the bee comes with it, usually killing the poor bee. 


Where we've found Bees

Bee spottings journal (45 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
20 Jun 2020 Finley Ireland Class
2 Jun 2020 Cirencester Primary School TR Wales Class Red Bottomed Bumble Bee
20 May 2020 Ruscombe Mrs A Year 2 CPS
6 May 2020 my garden Mrs Dalgleish-Smith Ireland Class My garden
3 May 2020 cam stacey Wild group Bumbling bumble bee
30 Apr 2020 Chepstow Ava St John's on-the-Hill There was a whit-tailed bumble bee in my garden.
30 Apr 2020 Lydney Isabelle St John's on-the-Hill A bee in our conservatory.
29 Apr 2020 Garden Amélie Cooks&Co
29 Apr 2020 Pops Cooks&Co In our courtyard bird box!
28 Apr 2020 Chepstow Carmen St John's on-the-Hill I found a white-tailed bumble bee in a field.
28 Apr 2020 Tidenham Carrie St John's on-the-Hill I found a white-tailed bumble bee was in a flower bed.
28 Apr 2020 St Arvans Freddie St John's on-the-Hill A white-tailed bumble bee was in my kitchen.
28 Apr 2020 St Briavels St John's on-the-Hill A white-tailed bumble bee.
28 Apr 2020 Llandogo St John's on-the-Hill I think it was a buff-tailed bumble bee in my garden.
28 Apr 2020 Chepstow Nico St John's on-the-Hill A white-tailed bumble bee in the field next to my house.
28 Apr 2020 Tintern Katie St John's on-the-Hill I spotted a buff-tailed bumblebee in a hydrangea.
28 Apr 2020 NP26 3EJ Cai St John's on-the-Hill We found a bee flying around a daisy but couldn't get close enough to see what kind it was.
28 Apr 2020 NP16 7HL Thomas St John's on-the-Hill We spotted tawny mining bees and a what we think is a white-tailed bumble bee. We have two hives in the roof of our house.
28 Apr 2020 Harry St John's on-the-Hill A white tailed bumble bee.
28 Apr 2020 NP15 1HB Hywel St John's on-the-Hill
28 Apr 2020 Chepstow Jack St John's on-the-Hill Spotted a bee in the garden.
28 Apr 2020 Chepstow Dexter St John's on-the-Hill Lots of bees spotted in the garden including buff-tailed bumble bee, white-tailed bumble bee, red-tailed bumble bee and hairy footed flower bee.
28 Apr 2020 Tidenham. Jaime St John's on-the-Hill White-tailed bumble bee found in the field.
28 Apr 2020 Daniel and Mrs S St John's on-the-Hill A white-tailed bumble bee was on a bluebell in our garden.
23 Apr 2020 Lost in the Wild
23 Apr 2020 Springfield Road Cashes Green Stroud Carol ClH
22 Apr 2020 NP16 6BT Harry St John's on-the-Hill A white tailed bumble bee in the garden.
22 Apr 2020 NP16 6BT Harry St John's on-the-Hill A white tailed bumble bee found in the front garden.
22 Apr 2020 Butterrow
22 Apr 2020 Butterrow
15 Apr 2020 In our garden All of us Buckley-Nolans
14 Apr 2020 Rodborough Edie Layfield Leafgatherers Thirsty little bee stopped for a drink
14 Apr 2020 Rodborough Ilse Layfield Leafgatherers Little bee needed a drink
14 Apr 2020 in our hives Stroud Valley Community School
11 Apr 2020 Workman woods Xavier MogsHouse
7 Apr 2020 Garden Jo The Weaver's
5 Apr 2020 Sue Woodside
4 Apr 2020 New Polzeath Daisy.M Blended Spotted this buzzy creature just down my road!
2 Apr 2020 Leah The Smiths On next doors tree in back garden
2 Apr 2020 Darren The Smiths Hovering around in the back garden
28 Mar 2020 Morris-tree
27 Mar 2020 gadun ella The Weaver's
24 Mar 2020 Polzeath, Cornwall. Gavin Blended Spotted in Polzeath, Cornwall.
24 Mar 2020 Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
13 Mar 2020 Bath Road Robin Layfield Leafgatherers


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