It is official: we love the buff-tailed bumblebee.
This charismatic insect has been overwhelmingly voted as the UK’s favourite insect. Collecting more than 40% of the 7,500 votes cast, beating the seven-spot ladybird and emperor dragonfly into second and third place, respectively.
The results are announced as part of the Royal Society of Biology's annual celebration of the biological sciences – Biology Week – which runs between 10 – 18 October.
The public vote was launched online during August and September, asking members of the public to choose their favourite insect from a list of 10 compiled by ecologists. It aimed to raise awareness of not just these 10 species but also the 20,000 or so species we have in the UK, many of which are in decline.
The buff-tailed bumblebee, while not a rare species, plays a crucial role in pollinating our flowers and crops.
“Seeing bumblebees buzzing around flowers in our gardens is a highlight of the British summer. I find it fascinating to watch them hard at work collecting pollen and nectar to keep their colony alive and thriving, and it’s great to know that so many people agree,” said entomologist Dr Rebecca Nesbit MRSB.
The top 10 insects in the Royal Society of Biology poll, in descending order of number of votes cast, are:
1 Buff-tailed bumblebee (40.5%, 3,033 votes)
2 Seven-spot ladybird (15.2%, 1139 votes)
3 Emperor dragonfly (14.5%, 1084 votes)
4 Small tortoiseshell butterfly (9%, 674 votes)
5 Stag beetle (6.5%, 487 votes)
6 Marmalade hoverfly (5%, 373 votes)
7 Green shield bug (2.8%, 209 votes)
8 Garden tiger moth (2.7%, 201 votes)
9 Black garden ant (2%, 153 votes)
10 Large bee-fly (1.8%, 131 votes)
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