Bees and Other Insects

Insect Identification

??? Are they hairy and rounded. slow moving and look rather cuddly?
The size of bumblebee queens ranges between 3/4 inch to 1 1/2 inches.
Are there only about 5 or 6 seen at any one time?  Are they going in to a hole in the ground, into an old bird box or low down into something like a compost container?
Do you find any on the ground looking as if they are dead?  They are usually just too cold to fly! (you can pick these up gently on a piece of paper and put them somewhere sheltered so they can recover)


In the UK there are about 25 species of bumblebees, 1 species of honeybee and 240 other bees.
Worldwide there are 250 known species of bumblebees, 9 species of honeybees and 19300 species of other bees.

??? Are they small and only about 3 or 4 seen at any one time? Are there lots of little holes in the lawn or wall where insects are flying in and out?


Some solitary bees are similar to bumbles but smaller.

??? Are they bright yellow and black striped and fly in a zigzaggy way very quickly?
Can you see a paper nest which resembles a small tennis ball? It could even be up to the size and shape of a football.
Are they attracted to your food and drink?

These are WASPS

??? Are they solitary, bigger than a wasp and making loud humming sounds?

This is a European HORNET

Apart from their size, hornets they can be identified by their brown/ornagy-yellow markings. Hornet queens are more than an inch long.  They are fairly rare in the UK, mainly in wooded areas of Soutern England. Nests are also made of paper and similar to wasp nests.

Asian Hornets  – These are mainly brown with one yellow stripe. Slightly smaller than our native hornets.

??? There are also HOVERFLIES
Identify them by their wings which stick out sideways. They are completely harmless.

These are hoverflies that mimic other insects