UK Ivy Bee Spotting

Our first mini citizen science project invites people to record Ivy Bee sightings on our iNaturalist project.


Since they were first recorded in the United Kingdom, back in 2001, it’s fair to say that the Ivy Bee (Colettes hederae) has been making itself at home here on these islands and we’re curious to discover how far and wide this bee is spreading.


Recorded sightings have been slowly creeping north from that first sighting in Dorset and the Ivy Bee has now been spotted in south Wales, as far east as Norfolk and to the north in Staffordshire and Shropshire. Help us record how the Ivy Bee is introducing itself to the United Kingdom.

This relatively new bee to UK shores emerges at the end of the summer months to coincide with the arrival of ivy blooms, so it’s not going to be spotted until late August. Once it has emerged it’s likely to be around until early November.


Ivy bees have a distinctive yellow and black striped abdomen and an orangey-brown, hairy thorax. They’re a similar size to a honey bee at around one centimeter. So far in 2019 we have captured over 50 sighting on our iNaturalist project.

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