Found in few places other than Northern Scotland, Salisbury Plain and South Wales. Resembles the White-tailed Bumblebee, though emerges much later and is not usually seen before late May.
Queens, workers and males have a yellow band behind the head, and another on the abdomen which is weaker or even broken in the middle.
Queens usually have a thin line of buff hairs preceding their white tail, and this is more pronounced in workers.
Males appear fluffier, have either a white or a buff tail, unusually slender hind legs and black facial hair.
About the bee
– broken yellow band
– tail white or white and orange
– workers and males may have more orange-buff hairs on tail
– Queen: 15mm
– Worker: 10mm
– Male: 12mm
Underground, or occasionally at the surface under dense cover.
Medium (around 100 workers).
Map and flight periods
The White-tailed Bumblebee always has a pure white tail, a shorter face and the yellow abdominal band is usually intact. Males have extensive yellow hairs around the head and face.
Male Buff-tailed Bumblebees could be mistaken for those of the Broken-belted Bumblebee, though their hair is denser and shorter, and the yellow abdominal band is normally intact.
Faded Early Bumblebee males may resemble the Broken-belted Bumblebee, but they also have yellow facial hair and lack such slender legs.