blooms for bees

Blooms for Bees

Discovering which garden flowers are best for bumblebees

Coventry University

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Blooms for Bees is a citizen science project to promote and improve gardening for bumblebees. Download the app and visit the website to explore which bumblebee species visit gardens and allotments, and discover which flowers are bumblebee favourites.

Bumblebees are popular and important pollinators. There are 25 species of bumblebee in the United Kingdom. Only eight of these are commonly found in most places, and these species account for the majority of bumblebee sightings. Unfortunately, UK bumblebee populations of all species have declined in recent years, with two species becoming extinct since 1940.

This is largely a result of the intensification of agricultural practices, which has reduced the availability of the flowers that bumblebees feed on.

Blooms for Bees app home page

Gardens and allotments offer us an amazing opportunity to create vibrant flower rich habitats to support these vital pollinators. Despite this, little is known about which bumblebee species visit gardens and allotments, or which flowers are the most important sources of nectar and pollen.

By observing the flowers growing in your garden or allotment, you can help us develop a better understanding of which flowers bumblebees like to visit. The data generated by this project will help develop our understanding of bumblebee foraging in gardens and allotments, and improve recommendations about which flowers we should grow more of.

App ID Guide image showing bumblebee feeding on clover flower

The app features a Bee Guide which contains images, descriptions and distribution maps for all UK bumblebee species. To assist you with identification, you can filter bumblebee species according to their tail or body colour.

You can also use the app to survey the flowering plants in your garden or allotment. Your records will help us develop a better understanding of which flowers are bumblebee favourites.

To find out more about using the app, watch the video.

Detail of illustrations within the app ID guide to bumblebees of the UK

The website features lots of information about the project and plant trials, as well as a map showing which flowers have been surveyed and which bumblebees have been recorded by participants.

The site also includes a Bumblebee ID guide of all UK species, gardening advice, and a blog.

Blooms for Bees website homepage