If you’ve enjoyed my Buzzing! book, you’ll know just how fascinating – and important – minibeasts are. You’ll also know that you can make an important contribution to science by recording the bugs you see. Scientists up and down the UK rely on us to tell them what bugs we see, so they can build up a nationwide picture of what bugs are where. Click below to find out how you can record the bugs you see. Who knows, you might even make a world-first scientific discovery!
Please note: I try to keep the links on this page up to date, but they do sometimes chop and change without my knowing. If you come across any links here that no longer work, do email me and I’ll try to put them right as soon as possible. Thanks!
If you see a bumblebee, particularly if it’s an unusual one, take a photo and send it toBeeWatch. BeeWatch wants to build up a map of what bumblebees are where in Britain. The online BeeWatch tools will help you identify your bumblebee, and your ID will be confirmed by BeeWatch experts.
You can also record your sightings with The Great British Bee Count.
If you get really keen on bumblebees, you might want to take part in BeeWalk. This involves you walking a fixed-route of 1-2km every month, and recording what bumblebees you see.
- Record your bumblebee sightings at BeeWatch
- Record your bumblebee sightings with The Great British Bee Count
- Find out more about Tree Bumblebees
- Record your Tree Bumblebee sightings at OPAL
- Find out more about bumblebees at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website
- Find out more about BeeWalk
By the way, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust wrote the Foreword to my Buzzing! book, and are fans of my Buzzing! CD:
‘Your Buzzing! CD is wonderful.
We put it on in the office when someone needs cheering up.’
If you spot a Rosemary Beetle, the Royal Horticultural Society would like to know about it!
Stag beetles are some of the largest beetles in the UK. They can grow to be larger than a matchbox. The Great Stag Hunt was launched in 1998, to record sightings of stag beetles in the UK, where they are a protected species. Have you seen a stag beetle where you are?
Ladybirds – see below
Butterfly Conservation runs a series of different butterfly recording schemes. One of the best to take part in is The Big Butterfly Count. It only takes 15 minutes once a year, and is vital to help scientists understand which of our butterfly species are threatened and which are thriving.
- Find out more about butterflies
- Record your butterfly sightings with The Big Butterfly Count
Painted Lady butterfly
The Painted Lady butterfly flies here all the way from Africa. Let the Butterfly Conservation Trust know if you see any!
Small Tortoiseshell butterfly
OPAL is recording sightings of the Small Tortoiseshell butterfly as part of its Bugs Count Species Quest.
- Find out more about the Small Tortoiseshell butterfly
- Record your Small Tortoiseshell butterfly sightings
There are lots of different ladybirds you might come across in the UK. Visit the UK Ladybird survey to find out how to record ladybirds you see in your garden, or whilst out and about. And see below for how to record the latest threat, the Harlequin Ladybird.
The Harlequin is an invader ladybird from abroad, with the potential to harm our native ladybird species. The Harlequin arrived in Britain in 2004. Has it reached where you are? I first saw them in York in Autumn 2007 (read all about it). Take a photo if you think you see one. The people at the Harlequin Ladybird Survey will tell you if it’s a Harlequin or not.
- Find out more about Harlequin Ladybirds
- Download a Harlequin Ladybird ID pack
- Record your Harlequin ladybird sightings
With climate change, more and more Hummingbird Hawkmoths are expected here. I’ve seen them – fleetingly – in my garden in York. Have you seen them where you are?
- Email your sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the date and place you saw the sawfly.
- Find out more about the British sawfly national recording scheme
I was the first person to record Berberis sawflies in York (read all about it)! Will you be the first person to record them where you are? If you see them, the Royal Horticultural Society would like to know about it!
- Find out more (Look out for the turquoise dot on the map that shows my sighting in York!)
- Record your Berberis sawfly sightings here