Bees, Wasps, Ants


    Bees, wasps and ants (plus sawflies) are all part of the insect order - Hymenoptera. This is a very diverse group with many species which represents a major challenge to those wanting to identify species. There are some very good resources to some of these species, particularly bumblebees, and the 2015 Field Guide to Bees of Great Britain and Ireland is a major boost. Solitary wasps such as ichneumons have no such resource at present but the online forum Hymis can be a very useful aid for posting images and getting identification help.

    Leicestershire and Rutland Resources

    There are no known printed or internet resources, though the County Council collections at Barrow can be visited by appointment to view pinned specimens.

    Other Useful Websites and Publications

    internet books
    BWARS - Bee, Wasp, Ant Recording Scheme - excellent site with good photos, information and keys to download.  
    NHM - Bumble Bee ID - an easy on-line key based on colour, developed by the Natural History Museum. Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland - Steven Falk & Richard Lewington, 2015. A superb field guide, highly recommended. - everything you ever wanted to know about bumblebees! Bumblebees - An Introduction - an excellent and inexpensive resource from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust covering all UK species, providing both ID help and lots of information about each species.
    Bumble Bee Conservation Trust - Identification - excellent guide with downloadable photo guide to all UK bumble bees. Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain and Ireland - a small but handy guide with both photographs of each species and a useful comparative table of colours and patterns
    Rutkies Gallery - German enthusiast has collected many good quality images of wasps and bees. Covers other insect groups too. Natural History Museum Guide to common British ichneumon wasps - a very useful guide to 20+ species that can be identified from a good photo.
    Solitary Bees - describes those species most likely to be seen in British gardens. Yeo P.F. & Corbett S.A. 1983 Solitary Wasps. Naturalist's Handbooks
      Richards O.W. 1980 Scolioidea, Vespoidea and Sphecoidea RES - out of print but available as a free download from the RES website
      Wasp identification photos, Flickr - excellent and high quality photos illustrating the key ID features referred to in the keys above.
    Myrm's Ant Nest - some good photos and notes about the commoner ant species. Ants (Naturalists' Handbook) - a small but useful book with keys.

    If you know of other websites or books that you would recommend, do let us know:

    Recording Schemes

    As with all records, any submissions you make to NatureSpot will be automatically forwarded to both local and national recording schemes.