And the UK’s Favourite Insect is…

This year the Royal Society of Biology asked the British public to choose their favourite creepy crawly as part of its campaign to raise awareness of the impact of pesticides, reducing habitat and climate change on our insects. In the running for the best bug spot were the likes of the stag beetle and the seven-spotted ladybird but the polls are shut and the votes counted, so who is our winner?

In the end, there was no competition and the Nation’s Favourite Insect, with a staggering 40% of the vote was the buff-tailed bumblebee.

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Photo Credit: Jonac Myrenas)

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Photo Credit: Jonas Myrenas)

Second place was a much closer affair with the seven spot ladybird taking 15% of the vote and the emperor dragonfly coming in third with a 14.5%.

Polling took place from August and closing on September 25th based on a shortlist of species created by ecologist. The results of the Nation’s Favourite Insect were announced as part of this year’s Biology Week: an annual celebration of biosciences with events throughout the UK.

Dr Rebecca Nesbit was part of the organising team for the insect poll and, as a member of the Royal Society of Biology and an entomologist, she gave her views on why the winner was so far ahead:

“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!

“We’re also acutely aware of the services which insects, and bees in particular, provide for us. Many crops and wild flowers alike depend on bumblebees for pollination. They contribute to our economy, our countryside and the food we eat.”

More than 7,500 people voted in the insect poll but the Royal Society of Biology hope that the publicity from the event will encourage people to appreciate our nation’s insects and to recognise that many of our UK species are in decline due to human impacts.

The full results list of the UK’s Favourite Insect can be found on the Royal Society of Biology’s website as well as ways you can get involved and help boost insect numbers.

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Kirstin McEwan
Current Wildlife Conservation Masters student and former Environmental Stewardship graduate with interests in wildlife conservation and science communication

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