Blooms for Bees

Blooms for Bees


Heritage Lottery Fund and Coventry University




Royal Horticultural Society, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Garden Organic


Gemma Foster and Judith Conroy


2 years from May 2016


Project Objectives

Blooms for Bees aims to promote bee-friendly gardening and encourage citizen scientists from across the UK to explore the presence and floral preferences of bumblebees in their gardens and allotments. 

This will be achieved by:

  • Creating a project smartphone/tablet app, website, videos and social media presence.
  • Creating a display garden at Ryton Organic Gardens and installing garden signage at Coventry University and RHS Wisely.
  • Delivering events across the UK, including festivals and bumblebee identification workshops.
  • Collecting data on bumblebee presence and foraging in UK gardens and allotments.
  • Determining bumblebee floral preferences.
  • Disseminating results via partners.


Blooms for Bees has been a great success for the participants and partners involved. The project was able to deliver on all seven of the HLF outcomes it set out to achieve. The contribution that Blooms for Bees has made to raising awareness about bees was recognised by the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and the project was awarded a ‘Bees’ Needs Champions Award’ in November 2017.

Blooms for Bees successfully created a range of high-quality outputs and in turn generated a novel, high-quality scientific dataset. Findings and raw data were shared widely, in the popular press and with the scientific and academic community. The findings have provided a scientific basis for, and strengthened, the bee-friendly planting recommendations promoted by the project partners.

As a result of Blooms for Bees, people learnt about bumblebee heritage, developed bumblebee identification skills and improved their gardening habits to support bumblebees. The Blooms for Bees project and events were regarded as highly enjoyable. In particular, people enjoyed learning about bumblebees and taking part in surveys, and many indicated that they planned to continue to submit survey data in the future.

Journal paper

Falk S, Foster G, Comont R, Conroy J, Bostock H, Salisbury A, Kilbey D, Bennett J & Smith, B. (2019) Evaluating the ability of citizen scientists to identify bumblebee (Bombus) species. PLoS ONE 14(6): e0218614.

Latest News

Best plants to attract bees revealed, after gardeners’ app survey

For more information on this project please contact Gemma Foster

Coventry University No.1 Modern University No.1 Modern University in the Midlands
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021