Discover the colorful world of pollinators.

Most people are familiar with honeybees, but there are many more pollinators. Wild bees, like bumblebees, or other insects such as wasps, hoverflies, butterflies and bugs pollinate a wide range of different flowers by transferring pollen from blossom to blossom. In exotic countries, hummingbirds and special bats are important pollinators as well.

The majority of wildbees are not living in colonies like the honeybee, but are solitary insects. Only bumblebees and some of the sweat bees form annual colonies and live together. There are many other differences in who and where the species live. About 70% of the wildbees live in the ground, most of them belong to the species of mining bees. The other 30% nest in crevices, deadwood or in stalks that might contain marrow. Crevices are very suitable for nest e.g. of the carder bees, while deadwood is preferred by carpenter bees, fork-tailed flower-bees and Willughby’s leafcutter. Mason bees, yellow-faced bees, scissor bees and large-headed resin-bees occupy empty of filled stems. Especially mason bees are well known to become creative and use human-made holes everywhere they can find them.


This large diversity makes it difficult to determine the species of pollinator that just flew by or sat down on a flower in your garden. These links can help you to identify common insects:

  • Buglife.org provides a general overview about different types of pollinators and pictures of some common bees, wasps, hoverflies and beetles
  • The Bumblebee Conservation Trust goes into more detail about bumblebee species that are domestic in UK
  • Find out about common bee species in Denmark under vildebier.dk
  • If you can’t find any information about a specific type of pollinator online, try to contact your local beekeeper association{:}