Introducing pollinators

The Polli:Nation survey is a large-scale national survey that will provide answers to important research questions about the health and status of pollinating insects across the UK.

You can contribute to this research by becoming a citizen scientist and surveying your local patch (school grounds, park or garden) for pollinators.


An introduction to pollinators – who are they, what do they do and where do we find them?

Begin your journey with our variety of interactive resources; test your knowledge of pollinators and get out and observe them in your school grounds.

Download identification guides and recording sheets to help you become pollination experts.

School resources to aid learning, test knowledge and help you get out and observe pollinators in your school.

Why are pollinators important?

Let your class consider these statements. What do they believe to be the most important? What can they do to support pollinators?

Watch this video from DEFRA to introduce some of the reasons that pollinators are important to all of us.

What do pollinators do?

Simply put, pollination is moving pollen from the male part of the flower to the female part.

A pollinator is an animal that moves pollen from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma of a flower.  This helps to bring about fertilization of the ovules in the flower by the pollen grains.

Not sure what these are? Check out our plant diagram sheet.

What pollinators do we find in the UK?

Our main pollinators are bees (solitary bees, bumblebees and the honey bee) butterflies and moths.  We also have flower visiting flies (including hoverflies) and beetles.

Use the guides below to learn more about them and begin identifying what you find.

A beautiful short film following the life cycle of a variety of solitary bees.

Pollinator Identification Guides

DOWNLOAD – Pollinator fact sheets and identification charts for bees, butterflies and beetles. Go and see what you can find!

DOWNLOAD – Loving learning about bees?  Have a closer look at bumblebees with this guide from Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Even more information can be found here on their website.

DOWNLOAD – Loving learning about butterflies? Have a closer look at butterflies with this guide from the Butterfly Conservation.

Even more information can be found here on their website.

Bees or flies (hoverflies or otherwise) – Zoom your eyes in on the antennae length and eye size. These are the most important features to decide whether you are looking at a BEE or FLY.

There are more than 260 species of BEE in the UK.

DOWNLOAD – Download the pictures and begin learning about some of our most common butterflies and moths.