The X-Polli:Nation Project


The X-Polli:Nation project aims to get our communities buzzing. This National Geographic project shares (or ‘cross-pollinates’) approaches and tools between members of the public, scientists, technologists and educators in order to support pollinators, people and the practice of citizen science.

Who can take part

The resources and work programme are designed for registered schools in the UK and Italy, however, we warmly welcome everyone to get involved in the activities. All you need is an area of outdoor space (as small as 1m2) where you can create a small patch of habitat and a plant seeds suitable for pollinators. You can purchase specially formulated seed mixes for pollinators from our generous supporter Seedball. We use the butterfly (for butterfly quadrats), urban (for bee quadrats) and oddball (for all-pollinator) mixes.

How to take part 

You can take part in just the X-Polli:Nation citizen science survey or get involved in our full programme of pollinator activities.

Whether you are registered or not, as a citizen scientist you can:

Follow us on social media and share your magnificent meadows and productive pots using #XPolli and tag @insidenatgeo  

Once you have recorded pollinators in your school ground or local patch, upload your results


Downloads and links for everyone – what you need to get involved


Summary Worksheet

These fun tasks are open for everyone to take part in, especially if you are a student or parent learning at home during the Covid-19 situation. Our lead educator created this sheet for her students after official school closures, we hope you will enjoy it too.


To practice your bumblebee and butterfly identification skills. This site is currently under development so please do provide feedback on the site.

Bugs Count Survey booklet




By downloading this survey you agree to the terms and conditions for the OPAL Polli:Nation Survey


Creating Habitat

  • X-Polli:Nation Planting for Pollinators Tool
    To get advice about which plant species to add to your green space to attract particular species of pollinator. This site is currently under development so please do provide feedback on the site.

  • Seedball
    To purchase ready-made butterfly mixes (butterfly seedball), bee mixes (urban seedball) and all-pollinator (oddball) seed mixes.


Spread the word

  • Polli:Promise 
    To make a pledge for pollinators and ideas on how to spread the word n your own community.



Group leaders and schools

Download our group leader support guide and our new recording sheets for schools:



Background Information

This project was inspired by a range of pollinator citizen science tools and approaches and we have set out to improve the quality of data collected, monitor interactions between plants and visiting insect pollinators, and collect information in new countries. Our team based these resources on:

Polli:Nation: This survey has been adapted to gather photographic evidence, data about the interaction between plants and pollinators, the impact of introducing tailored seed mixes to your outdoor space and for use in new countries.

Polli:Bright: This project funded by the European Night of Research adapts the Polli:Nation Survey into Italian and trials the use of this tool in Tuscany. We will take this a step further by combining the survey with other resources and approaches in X-Polli:Nation

BeeWatch: This bumblebee training tool has been developed to include butterflies and to make suitable for younger audiences.

Planting for Pollinators: This digital tool allows you to select which species of bumblebee you would like to attract into your garden and suggests which plant species it is particularly attracted to. It will be adapted for other species in the X-Polli:Nation Survey

Polli:Promise: This campaign led by students at St Alban’s Primary School in Havant encourages you to make a pledge to plant a 1m2 patch. We provide an array of suggestions about how to follow in these student’s footsteps and spread the word about pollinators using #XPolli.



With thanks to...


The National Geographic Society have generously funded X-Polli:Nation which is a partnership project between the following organisations:

In association with: