A collection of plant guides, citizen science projects, organizations, books, films, podcasts, apps, kids, goods, and other bee-related links (many specific to North America or Britain)
The Xerces Society
A plethora of resources for bee lovers and aspiring bee gardeners in North America. Xerces works with individuals, farmers, and other groups to track endangered species, protect and manage habitat, and raise awareness about the vital importance of invertebrates.
An excellent array of resources for the UK. Campaings including Get Britain Buzzing and B-Lines. Submit your sightings and help Buglife save the small things that run the planet!
Their mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Signature initiatives include the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) and National Pollinator Week.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust
Founded by Professor Dave Goulson, the UK-based Bumblebee Conservation Trust is a great bumblebee-specific resource. Find out how to identify the various bumblebees and promote their welfare in your garden and community. Walks and other local events too!
Pollinator Friendly Alliance
Minnesota-based non-profit advocating for restoring pollinator habitats and reducing pesticide usage. Each year they host a Best Practices for Pollinators Summit with many informative talks and presentations. They also provide a series of Earth Chapter educational webinars focusing on backyard biodiversity, native plants and more.
The Wildlife Trusts
Their wild bee action kit is a lovely resource filled with interesting bee facts and great suggestions for welcoming bees into your wild spaces.
100 Plants to Feed the Bees
A great handbook for aspiring North American bee gardeners! For each flowering plant, there are notes about its habits, recommended species or varieties, notable flower visitors, and ideal usage (meadows, hedgerows, nesting material, etc.)
Attracting Native Pollinators
A detailed, comprehensive resource published by the Xerces Society, providing a rich source of information and inspiration on pollinators and creating their habitat in North America.
The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
A nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across America. Register your pollinator-friendly garden and see others nearby!
The Great Sunflower Project
The largest pollinator-focused citizen science project in the United States. Observe lemon queen sunflowers (or any other flowering plant you choose), count pollinators and note different types, and upload your findings.
Ground Nesting Bees!
Help find and map bee nesting sites worldwide! Ninety percent of all bees are solitary and seventy percent of bees nest in the ground. Yet, our knowledge of the nesting requirements is sorely lacking.
Bee City USA
Your city or campus could become the next Bee City or Bee Campus! There are many benefits to this Xerces Society’s initiative: helping to ensure the survival of vital pollinator species; stimulating local food, nursery, and pollinator niche businesses; and heightening community awareness of seasonal changes and non-toxic ways of eliminating invasives and pests.
Bee Better Certified
The Bee Better Certified seal for food products was launched in 2017 by the Xerces Society, aiming to give US food buyers confidence that their purchasing decisions benefit pollinators, reward conservation-minded farmers, and incentivize pollinator conservation. Look for this seal!
The Buzz Club
A Sussex University affiliated UK project (free membership)! A variety of citizen science projects suitable for all ages, aiming to support pollinators and other garden insects by gathering data and creating habitat.
The Bumble Club
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s youth membership encourages younger members “to explore and discover the wonders of bumblebees with some buzzing fun.” There are also great educational resources available to all in the Learning Zone, targeted to ages 4-6, 7-11, and 11+ (as well as to schools).
Lawn to Wildflowers
An app to inspire people throughout the US to convert grass lawns to native wildflowers, teach people how to identify pollinators through interactive tools, and enlist the public to collect data on pollinators so we can better understand where they are declining and why (designed by a team from the University of Central Florida).
Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them
“Does our fate rest on their buzzing wings?” Paige Embry talks to farmers, gardeners, and scientists about the vital role our native pollinators play in our ecosystems and food systems.
What a Bee Knows
Although their brains are incredibly small—just one million neurons compared to humans’ 100 billion—bees have remarkable abilities to navigate, learn, communicate, and remember. In What a Bee Knows, entomologist Stephen Buchmann explores a bee’s way of seeing the world and introduces the scientists who make the journey possible.
The Mind of a Bee
Lars Chittka draws on decades of research showing that bees are profoundly smart, have distinct personalities, can recognize flowers and human faces, exhibit basic emotions, count, use simple tools, solve problems, and learn by observing others. They may even possess consciousness.
A Garden for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee: Creating Habitat for Native Pollinators
With more than 300 native plants of Ontario and the Great Lakes region proﬁled in detail, along with sample garden designs, ideas for beautiful plant pairings and numerous tips for success, this fully-illustrated guide helps gardeners discover the crucial connections between native plants and native pollinators, and learn how to cultivate patches of pollinator paradise.
Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide
A beautiful and comprehensive book in which to immerse oneself! Heather Holm spends about half the book diving into the lifecyles and habits of North American bees, and then covers trees, shrubs, and perennials for the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast Regions.
The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America’s Bees
An engaging introduction to the roughly 4,000 different bee species found in North America. Photographic keys along with a wealth of other bee-related knowledge!
Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland
Written by Steven Falk and accompanied by the brilliant illustrations of Richard Lewington. Plenty of bee-related learning resources too!
What’s that Bumblebee
A great way to engage with and identify the UK’s eight most common bumblebees. The app uses augmented reality, illustrations, images and species details. Brought to you by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, a UK charity dedicated to creating a world in which bumblebees are thriving and valued.
British & Irish Bumblebees
A comprehensive field guide to the bumblebees of Britain and Ireland, covering all twenty-three species currently recorded in the region. It aims to help anyone interested in bumblebees – beginner or expert – to identify the species they encounter. Produced in association with the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust and Habitat Aid.
How Chemical Giants Destroyed our Ecosystem
Professor Jeff Ollerton (noted pollinator scientist) called attention to this film. It is based on the book “Et le monde devient silencieux” (And the world is growing silent) by Stéphane Foucart.
Rewild Your World
There’s room for pollinators everywhere... our lawns, gardens, and balconies. By rewilding with the enormous power of wildflowers, we can create networks of bee-friendly areas throughout our urban areas.
My Garden of a Thousand Bees
Filmmaker Martin Dohrn set out in the spring and summer of 2020 with DIY lenses to record every bee he can find in his tiny urban garden in Bristol, England.
The Solitary Bees
Short film by Team Candiru focusing on solitary bees in the UK. Stunning photography and bees-eye flyovers of meadows. Learn about their seasonal nesting habits, watch new bees emerge in spring, and more!
This Bee Builds Sandcastles at the Beach
PBS Deep Look delves into digger bees in northern California that construct nests in sandy hillsides along the beach. Many bees burrow to make their nests (some bees even excavate sandstone).
This Vibrating Bumblebee Unlocks a Flower’s Hidden Treasure
PBS Deep Look delves into how bumble bees are able to release pollen from tomatoes, potatoes, blueberries, and other similar plants using their special buzz pollination technique. Next time you see a bumble bee, listen for that special high-pitched buzz!
The Bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante
Briefly follows two of the nation’s most prominent bee researchers as they return to southern Utah, where twenty years ago they showed us what an incredible hot spot for bee diversity this place is.
A Ghost in the Making: Searching for the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee
Short film by Clay Bolt, immersing us in his search for the critically endangered rusty-patched bumble bee. “We spend so much time and effort trying to make life better for ourselves. The least we can do is make life possible for this bee.” –Clay Bolt
Bumble Bee Atlas
The Xerces Society has created a growing number of regional US Bumble Bee Atlas projects: collaborative community science efforts to track and conserve regional native bumble bee species.
Bumble Bee Watch
Submit your North American bumble bee sightings here. A citizen science project aiming to track and conserve these important pollinators. All sightings verified by experts!
Blooms for Bees
UK citizen science project to find out which flowers bumble bees prefer, and to learn more about bumble bee foraging in urban environments.
The Solitary Bee Project
UK-based citizen science initiative to learn more about the nesting habitats of four solitary bees, with an aim to improving land management practices to help these bees.
Friends of the Earth (UK)
Hosting the Great British Bee Count and providing general information about the problems facing bees, especially from pesticides.
A globally-focused app from the California Academy of Sciences. Record, share, and discuss your observations with fellow wildlife enthusiasts. Sightings are shared with scientific data repositories.
A UK-focused app where you can share your sightings with scientists, adding to biodiversity information. Sightings of bees, wasps, and ants automatically reported to BWARS.
Bee Quest, A Buzz in the Meadow, A Sting in the Tale
Dave Goulson’s compelling personal tales of bumble bees, meadows, and the vital importance of conserving biodiversity by de-intensifying commercial agriculture. Delightful books filled with interesting observations and unusual facts.
The Garden Jungle
Everything Dave Goulson writes is a poignant call to action, lest we lose the little creatures that buzz through our world and make life on this planet possible. Ultimately he is hopeful, as we can all help nearby pollinators, wherever we live.
Dave Goulson returns with his familiar witty incisiveness, laying out the largely-unseen environmental catastrophe taking place. He is ever hopeful, as bees and other insects are absolutely ready to return in greater numbers and diversity, if only we give them the little space and resources they require.
Pollinators and Pollination
One of the world’s leading pollination ecologists, Jeff Ollerton, discusses ecology and evolution of pollinators, their relationships with flowers, and their conservation in a rapidly changing world. Offers practical advice on how individuals and organisations can study and support pollinators.
Attracting Garden Pollinators, The Secret Lives of Garden Bees
The Green Jeanie’s latest book is a friendly, accessible, information packed guide to gardening for and with pollinators. A perfect companion to her first book on the weird, but wonderful world of the bees in your garden. Buy directly from the author, Jean Vernon:
Dancing with Bees
Brigit Strawbridge Howard’s charming and eloquent account of a return to noticing nature. With special attention to the plight of pollinators, including honeybees, bumblebees, and solitary bees, she shares fascinating details of the lives of flora and fauna that have filled her days with ever-increasing wonder and delight.
The Lives of Bees, Following the Wild Bees, Honeybee Democracy
Thomas Seeley is fascinated with the social lives of feral honey bees. From beelining to swarming, his are exhilarating accounts of honey bees in the wild. Did you know that when they swarm in search of a new hive location, individuals ’vote’ similar to town hall meetings?
Can we really help the bees?
Professor Jeff Ollerton is an expert in pollinators, and so it’s excellent to hear he advised on this book. It chronicles a swarm of honey bees who introduce a group of children to the great diversity of bee species and lifestyles, along with the troubles facing bees. As Jeff puts it, “everyone can make a difference to the wildlife around us and no one is too young to be involved!”
Am I Even a Bee?
Lovely book for budding young naturalists, focusing on the wide diversity of bees (at last, a book for kids that doesn’t conflate honey bees with all bees)! Penned by Dr. Felicity Muth, who heads up the Muth Lab at the University of Texas at Austin, where she researches bumble bee cognition.
Bee: A Honeyed History
Charmingly illustrated children’s book focusing on honey bees, including fascinating historical and cultural tidbits. A wealth of odd tidbits not found elsewhere, in a gorgeous large hardcover book. Sadly conflates honey bees with all bees, but overall engaging presentation feels worth it.
More than Honey
Documentary on honey bees by Markus Imhoof, covering the myriad issues—pesticides, pathogens, parasites, genetic diversity and habitat loss—facing these iconic pollinators, with a focus on the impact of pesticides and monocultural farming.
The Little World
Short film following a female mason bee’s life from when she hatches, through spring and summer, as she provisions her brood chambers for the next generation. We also meet many other small denizens in the wall in which she nests.
The Grumble Bee
Short film that reflects on how bees’ lives have changed over the decades leading up to ours (starting from before the Second World War). Seen through the eyes of the cynical ‘grumble bee’, it ends on a surprisingly uplifting note!
2 Million Blossoms
Because of pollinators, we enjoy delectable food and incredible biodiversity. The creatures that feed us often face starvation themselves, encountering food deserts in our modern, fragmented landscape. Interesting interviews with bee scientists and bee enthusiasts.
The Wildlife Community Podcast
Interviews with the likes of Dave Goulson and Brigit Strawbridge, focusing on wildlife-friendly gardening and rewilding. Everyone can make their own natural spaces more enticing to a wider diversity of natural creatures!
“For people making bold strides to improve the health of pollinators.” Just passing the 100 episode mark, hear from scientists and OSU faculty in answer to your questions, and with episodes dedicated to creating better bee habitats, learning in detail about bee lives, and more. Highly recommended for anyone enthusiastic about bees!
Two Bees in a Podcast
Hosted by members of University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory. Learn about honey bees, beekeepers, researchers, and specialists from around the world in educational, fun, yet practical episodes!
The Bee Report
Dedicated to helping bee experts, citizen scientists and the bee-curious stay connected to the wide world of bees.
Making Meadows: Creating Wildflower Ecosystems West of the Cascade Mountains
Incredible information packaged up as an old-school ‘zine, produced by Northwest Meadowscapes. Eric Lee-Mäder (of the Xerces Society) and Mari Lee-Mäder run this native seed business based in the Pacific Northwest, and their how-to ‘zine is an “unfiltered reflection on our own experiences, opinions, and biases as meadow-making practitioners.”
Bees and Other Pollinators Quarterly is a British printed magazine featuring practical wildlife-gardening advice, bee art and photography, nature writing, conservation campaigns, and more.
Pollinator Habitat Sign
Encourage others in your neighborhood to consider gardening for pollinators! Comes with Xerces Society membership benefits for one year. Spanish version also available.
Leave the Leaves Sign
Encourage others to learn more about the benefits of leaving your leaves on the ground! Comes with Xerces Society membership benefits for one year. Spanish version also available.
Nurturing Nature Bee Nest Boxes
George Pilkington designs award-winning bumblebee and solitary bee nest boxes “inspired by nature, driven by science.” Solitary bee boxes are designed so that you can even observe the entire lifecycle of the bees!
Beevive Revival Keyrings
Inspired by a spontaneous encounter with a tired bee, these convenient keyrings contain a vial of sugar-water solution to revive any exhausted bee you may find. Perfect for walks in nature, when you discover a bee in need of a quick pick-bee-up!
Bee greeting cards & bee art prints
Add a special buzz with pollinator greeting cards and digital phone wallpapers, featuring vivid close-up photography of Pacific Northwest bees buzzing about their lives !
(Disclosure: these are my own bee photos —Elise Fog)
North American Bee Posters
Incredible bee posters, the original featuring many backyard bees (all sized to scale at 5x life size). Also a bumble bee poster featuring just over half of North American bumble bee species.
Give Bees a Chance Poster
A beautiful illustration by Northwest artist Jim Henterly depicting the interdependence of all the inhabitants of the forest. Featured in a presentation by Paul Stamets on Mushrooms for Bees, Trees, People & Planet.
Salisbury Bee Trail
Augmented reality bee walk through the city to discover 12 gorgeously illustrated and wonderfully informative bee signs that come to life with the app!
Adorable game for iOS and Android! You’re a little honey bee trying to get back to her hive. On the way, you encounter various obstacles, and learn about honey bees and other bees in the meantime.
The Bee Sanctuary of Ireland
A dedicated native wild bee sanctuary comprising 55 acres (the size of 31 football pitches) of mixed habitat, which a family has been returning to nature since 2012. Offering opportunities for individuals and businesses to recharge in nature and also support real environmental sustainability.
IUCN Red List
The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species identifies those species most at risk of extinction, and reasons for their declines. Learn about Bombus dahlbomii (the largest bumble bee in the world) and other critically endangered wild bees.
The Bee Report
Covers bee-related conservation, economics, politics, science, technology and societal currents with a weekly bee news summary.
The Host Defense® BeeFriendly™ Research Initiative
Studying mycological solutions to increase longevity, reduce mite and viral burden, and improve immunity of honey bees. Project by Paul Stamets and Steve Sheppard.
Wild Bee Project
Currently focused on engaging Salt Lake City residents with the wild bees in their gardens. Fantastic blog with great photos and much to learn about wild bee nesting and foraging habits.
Sandstone Bee Nest Sites
In the American Southwest—from Colorado’s Mesa Verde to southern Utah and California’s Death Valley—sandstone bees nest in very distinctive sites. Their nests are widespread but tricky to find, so if you spot one your sighting is valuable!
Fabulous and informative blog by bee and nature lover Brigit Strawbridge. From basic bee facts to interesting and unusual behaviors, there’s so much to learn from her observations over the years (snail shell bees)!
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(Updates? Additions? Suggestions? Contact Elise)