Blooms for Bees

Blooms for Bees

Early Bumblebee

Bombus pratorum

A small bumblebee of fluffy appearance, found throughout much of the UK, although absent from the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland. In southern regions it is common for there to be two generations in a year. Early Bumblebees fade as they age, making identification more difficult.

Appearance

Queens are smaller than those of other species and are the only common bumblebee to have both yellow banding and an orange tail.
Workers resemble queens but are variable, with the central yellow band often being faint or absent.
Males are the same size as workers, but have yellow facial hair.

Early bumblebee

About the bee

– yellow bands
– orange tail
– males have yellow facial hair

Size

– Queen: 13mm
– Worker: 10mm
– Male: 10mm

Tongue length

– Short (6.5mm)

Nest

Below ground in old rodent burrows or in vegetation on the surface. Sometimes above ground in old bird nests, tree cavities or roof spaces.

Colony size

Small (fewer than 100 workers)

Map and flight periods

bombus-pratorum map

Similar species

The Bilberry Bumblebee is of a similar size, colour and texture, but the red tail extends further up the abdomen. This species is rarer and more likely to be found in moorland habitat.

Red-tailed Bumblebee males have similar markings but are less yellow overall, with more red on their tails. Workers and queens do not have any yellow colouring.

 

- OR -

Email address required

Show Password required

By signing in to this website you are agreeing to the Terms and conditions of use

Forgot your password?

Display name missing

Invalid email address

Show Passwords do not match

Show Passwords do not match

By signing up to this website you are agreeing to the Terms and conditions of use


Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Please note that this will reset your password for all sites in the CS Portal.

Error message here!

Back to log-in