Bumblebee research

Bumblebee pollination supports multi-billion-dollar agricultural industries. 

We aim to:

  • progress towards an identification guide of world bumblebee species
  • understand the evolution of colour patterns in relation to world distribution
  • identify the ecological processes leading to bumblebee decline.
  • Bumblebee preparing to land on a flower
    Identifying bumblebees

    Learn more about the 250 species of bumblebee in the world and the identification difficulties that have lead to nearly 3000 different names.

  • Cryptic species of the subgenus Bombus s. str.
    Commercial bumblebees

    Find out about cryptic species and how DNA analysis is helping to distinguish between them.

  • Bombus cullumanus bumblebee
    Bumblebee Specialist Group

    Find out about the IUCN Bumblebee Specialist Group, set up to assess the conservation needs of bumblebee species world-wide.

Research leader

Dr Paul Williams
Dr Paul Williams

Research entomologist specialising in bees.

Bee identification book

Bumble bees of North America

The first comprehensive guide to North American bumble bees to be published in more than a century, this book is richly illustrated with colour photographs, diagrams, range maps, and graphs of seasonal activity patterns.

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