Bumblebee field guide app released


This page contains 22 reader comments. Click here to view (latest Fri 06/03/15 09:53).

There are 23 bumblebee species in Britain and Ireland. They play an increasingly appreciated role as pollinators and indicators of habitat diversity. Now for the first time there is an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that provides a comprehensive resource to help identify bumblebees in the field and for learning all about them.

Bumblebees of Britain & Ireland is published by NatureGuides in partnership with Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Habitat Aid. The app is the result of a three-year project involving numerous people and organisations. It offers the following features:

  • Superb specially commissioned illustrations by Richard Lewington, showing all forms for each species
  • Multiple video clips for every species, showing interesting and characteristic behaviour
  • All-species view organised to help rapid identification in the field
  • Still photographs for every species, carefully selected to show key identification points
  • Distribution maps and detailed text accounts including advanced identification
  • Extensive introduction reproduced from David Alford's classic book Bumblebees
  • Intuitive software that allows any species to be compared side-by-side
  • Supports both scientific and common English species naming

Screengrabs from the app can be found below (click for larger versions):

Bumblebees of Britain & Ireland is available from the Apple iTunes App Store (appstore.com/birdguides) in two versions. A basic edition (price £1.49) covers the eight species most frequently encountered in the UK and Ireland. The Pro edition (price £9.99) covers all 23 species including scarcer bumblebees such as the Great Yellow and the recently extinct Short-haired Bumblebee — the latter currently the subject of a re-introduction project in Kent.

Pro edition (£9.99)
BirdGuides — BirdGuides Ltd.
Basic edition (£1.49)
BirdGuides — BirdGuides Ltd.
The Bumblebees of Britain & Ireland app has been updated:
  • new video for several species
  • new photographs, reviewed for accuracy and usefulness for identification
  • updated maps and text for some species
  • full iOS 7 compatability

Update 03.10.2013

Bumblebees of Britain & Ireland is available from the Apple iTunes App Store (appstore.com/natureguidesltd) in two versions. A basic edition (price £1.49) covers the eight species most frequently encountered in the UK and Ireland. The Pro edition (price £9.99) covers all 23 species including scarcer bumblebees such as the Great Yellow Bumblebee and the recently extinct Short-haired Bumblebee — the latter currently the subject of a re-introduction project in Kent. For those who already own Bumblebees of Britain & Ireland, the latest update can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

Please note that further NatureGuides apps will be benefiting from updates in the near future. Keep an eye on the BirdGuides newsletter for further information.

NatureGuides is the new name for the company behind the popular series of BirdGuides identification apps covering birds, butterflies, dragonflies and moths.
Bumblebee Conservation Trust is the fastest-growing charity devoted to the conservation of bumblebees and the habitats in which they thrive.
Habitat Aid is a one-stop resource for creating sustainable landscapes and delivering biodiversity.

The information in this article was believed correct at the time of writing. BirdGuides accepts no responsibility for errors, or for any consequences of acting on information in the article. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily shared by BirdGuides Ltd.

hide section Reader comments (22)

You have missed a trick surely as there are 2.5 million more android users than iphone users. A great sounding app but as an android user you have put me off a future purchase.
   David Williams, 19/06/13 23:11Report inappropriate post Report 
We do plan to release an Android version. Each OS needs considerable custom software development. We have been working on this project for more than three years. We wanted to release the first version of the app while it is still summertime and bumblebees are around.
   Max Whitby, 20/06/13 10:52Report inappropriate post Report 
Not holding my breath for an Android app, none of the others seem to have been released on android, same old story.
   Scott Mayson, 20/06/13 16:23Report inappropriate post Report 
I agree Android apps are the future if you want to reah a decent size audience.
   Dave, 20/06/13 18:54Report inappropriate post Report 
Could we be told which "eight species most frequently encountered in the UK and Ireland" are included in the basic version, please?
   Malcolm Ogilvie, 20/06/13 19:53Report inappropriate post Report 
These are the 8 commoner species in the Basic (£1.49) edition: Bombus hortorum (Garden Bumblebee), Bombus lucorum (White-tailed Bumblebee), Bombus terrestris (Buff-tailed Bumblebee), Bombus jonellus (Heath Bumblebee), Bombus pratorum (Early Bumblebee), Bombus lapidarius (Red-tailed Bumblebee), Bombus hypnorum (Tree Bumblebee),
   Max Whitby, 20/06/13 20:36Report inappropriate post Report 
Any plans for an old fashioned book - if so I would certainly be interested in a copy, rather than an app on my iphone
   Steve Smith, 20/06/13 21:34Report inappropriate post Report 
There are already a number of good "tree" books on bumblebees available. For example Ted Benton's comprehensive "Bumblebees" in the New Naturalist Series and also Edwards and Jenner's "Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain and Ireland" (maker sure you get the second edition).
   Max Whitby, 20/06/13 21:47Report inappropriate post Report 
Just downloaded the Bee app to my iPad mini and it looks great. Loaded with great features, and I especially like the ability to compare species on the same screen. I have Ted Benton's book and I can see how this app will work well alongside it. I highly recommend this app to those with an interest in bees or thinking about looking at them more closely. I remember waiting for BirdTrack on OS when Android had got a head start! That turned out to be woth waiting for; this will be too, for Android users this time, I reckon...
   Mark Hipkin, 20/06/13 22:21Report inappropriate post Report 
Downloaded the app and began searching through, the first thing that struck me was that the examples of humilis and muscorum do not seem to be typical of the ones here in Keint, then, unfortunately the app seemed to stop working completely and left me with a blank screen! or maybe I'm missing something here?
   Paul Larkin., 20/06/13 23:36Report inappropriate post Report 
Sorry you have encountered a problem Paul. We are not aware of any crash bugs. I suggest you try fully restarting your device (hold down the power button and activate the red slider) and relaunching. If the issue persists then please email details (the spec of your device, iOS version) to support@natureguides.com and we will investigate. On your point about the carders, touch the small "i" on the video and you will be able to see where each clip was filmed. Several of the B. muscorum shots are from Scotland.
   Max Whitby, 21/06/13 08:31Report inappropriate post Report 
Max, I have deleted the app and reloaded and now it seems ok. I take your point wrt the Carders and guessed that was the case but maybe in future versions you could include some from the south of the UK where they are rare and look very different.
   Paul Larkin., 21/06/13 08:47Report inappropriate post Report 
Thanks Paul. Yes this is a good suggestion. We will be releasing an early update for the both the Basic and the Pro versions of the app. This will be free to everyone who has previous installed the app such as yourself. We will add some stills showing the forms of the two carders seen in the south. There are a few additional corrections: the still of a queen/worker "jonellus" by BBCT is in fact a female sylvestris. ID for some species of bumblebee can be quite challenging!
   Max Whitby, 21/06/13 08:57Report inappropriate post Report 
Perhaps an app guide to 'crash bugs' is in order?....
   Laurie Allan, 23/06/13 05:59Report inappropriate post Report 
I bought the pro edition this morning and it works really well on my iPad,however the icon has appeared on my iPhone with "waiting" under it. I have rebooted my phone twice with no effect, any suggestions?
   Morag Taylor, 24/06/13 16:33Report inappropriate post Report 
Yes Morag: you need to connect your iPhone to a wireless network The Pro edition is large due to all the videos. It will take a while to download. The alternative is to download the app using iTunes on your laptop or desktop computer (if you have one) and then connect your iPhone with a USB cable and sync. Please email support@natureguides.com if this does not resolve the issue.
   Max Whitby, 24/06/13 16:46Report inappropriate post Report 
What are the differences between the basic and pro editions ? If I buy the app for the iPad, do I have to buy it again for the iPhone ?
   Dave Hill, 01/07/13 14:48Report inappropriate post Report 
Dave the basic edition covers the 8 commoner bumblebee species (see comment #6 above for the list). The pro edition covers all 23 UK and Irish species, including the recently re-introduced Bombus subterraneus (the Short-haired Bumblebee). Either version will work on both iPad and iPhone with the single purchase.
   Max Whitby, 01/07/13 14:55Report inappropriate post Report 
Hi there. Any news on an Android app? There's millions of us out here. Apple isn't the only game in town. I'm quite certain you can swell the coffers by a little time and money in tapping into the Android market. Fingers crossed.
   Richard Hignett, 18/05/14 10:00Report inappropriate post Report 
Hi - Any updates on the Android app being released?? Cheers
   David Alexander, 06/03/15 09:34Report inappropriate post Report 
I gave up waiting, bought a field guide instead, a shame, a missed commercial opportunity, although I'd still get the Android app if someone was so inclined to do one. Here's hoping. OF course, the other thing is that there's noone reading the posts if Max has left the organisation as he seemed to be the only one answering.
   Richard Hignett, 06/03/15 09:43Report inappropriate post Report 
I'm still here! But sadly with no news of an Android version. It remains an objective if we can find a way to cover the development cost. Alas Bumblebees are an under-appreciated taxa and at the likely rate of sales in this specialist subject area, it would take several years to recover the necessary investment. Sorry.
   Max Whitby, 06/03/15 09:53Report inappropriate post Report 

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