Blooms for Bees

Blooms for Bees

Garden Bumblebee

Bombus hortorum

Common throughout the UK, found in gardens but also other habitats. Distinguishable from other common black and yellow banded species by the presence of an additional yellow band on the thorax.

Appearance

Queens, workers and males all have a bright yellow collar, adjoining yellow bands on the thorax and abdomen and a white tail. This species has a noticeably long face to accommodate a very long tongue. 

Males always have black facial hair.

About the bee

– yellow collar
– yellow midriff band
– white tail
– very long tongue/face

Size

– Queen: 16mm
– Worker: 13mm
– Male: 14mm

Tongue length

– Very long (12mm)

Nest

Usually underground.

Colony size

Medium (usually around 100 workers)

Map and flight periods

bombus-hortorum-map

Similar species

The Heath Bumblebee has similar colouring to the Garden Bumblebee, but is smaller, with a shorter face and fluffier hair. Males are rounder with yellow facial hair.

The Ruderal Bumblebee has similar colouring to the Garden Bumblebee, but queens are larger and darker. Their hair is also slightly shorter and ‘neater’, and they have a shorter face.

Male Barbut’s Cuckoo Bees are also similar, although their bands are more buff, and they have shorter faces and box-shaped heads.

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