National Bee Count Working together to protect wild bees


Every year, people in the Netherlands are urged to count bees as part of the National Bee Count. By spending just half an hour counting all of the bees in your garden, on your balcony or some other green area in your neighborhood, you can help us to protect wild bees. The data on the number of bee species observed in the country is vital to scientists seeking to learn more about the state of play in the wild bee population. The more they learn, the better they are able to protect this immensely useful and vulnerable species of animal. 

Get counting!

It's easy to take part, even if you have little to no knowledge of bees. You can find a count form and a bee guide that allows anyone to recognize the sixteen different types of bees, bumblebees and hoverflies. Visit the National Bee Count website to see when the next count will be taking place and get involved!

Get counting (Dutch)


The National Bee Count is a joint project conducted by Naturalis, the sustainability foundation Natuur & Milieu, the nature education institute IVN Natuureducatie and the environmental organization LandschappenNL. The basis of our partnership is to work together to raise awareness of the importance of wild bees. The National Bee Count is organized in collaboration with the insect knowledge center EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten and the nature platform

Osmia bicornis
Bee guide


The first edition of the National Bee Count was organized in 2018 by Nederland Zoemt, a collaborative project to protect bees. It attracted over 4,000 participants, who counted a combined total of over 40,000 bees in their gardens. In 2020, Naturalis took over responsibility for organizing the National Bee Count from Nederland Zoemt. That year, the number of participants rose to a record level, with over 10,500 people counting a total of 136,063 bees between them.

Bombus terrestris

work together?

The more we know about bees, the better we are able to protect them. For this reason, we ask everybody to help us take part in this national bee study. Nearly 360 species of bee are native to the Netherlands, over half of which are endangered. Bees are vital pollinators, with 80% of our edible crops and nearly 90% of wild plants being pollinated by bees and other insects. Researchers will take the results of the National Bee Count to examine where the different species occur in the Netherlands and whether their numbers are increasing or falling. To get a clear picture of trends in garden bee populations, counts must be performed for at least five consecutive years as this eliminates outside influences such as weather conditions.


By working together, we can truly make a difference. For this reason, we are continually seeking new partners to gather knowledge about wild bees in order to optimally protect them. Would you like to know more about what the National Bee Count can do for your organization? If so, we'd love to hear from you! Get in touch with us via our contact form and we can explore the possibilities together. If you have any general questions about the National Bee Count, you can e-mail us via


Every year, the National Bee Count organizes activities to help recognize the 16 different species of wild bee that you may see in your garden. There is plenty of learning material available, such as these bee lessons and the Bumble Bee Lab.