Blooms for Bees

Blooms for Bees

Field Cuckoo Bee

Bombus campestris

Declining, but still fairly common in most of England and Wales. Much scarcer in Scotland and Ireland.


Females have a dark yellow collar and yellow hairs on the thorax where it meets the abdomen. The abdomen has very little hair so is visibly shiny. There are two patches of buff-yellow hair on either side of the tail, separated by short black hairs.

Males resemble females, but can vary greatly from very pale to almost completely black. Males also have black hair on their face and at the tip of their tail.

Field cuckoo bee

About the bee

– dark yellow collar
– buff-yellow patches on tail
– females have shiny abdomen


– Female: 15mm
– Male: 13mm

Tongue length

– Short


Primarily the Common Carder Bee, and sometimes other carder bees.

Map and flight periods


Similar species

Forest Cuckoo Bees often have yellow tails, but the tip is more obviously black haired, often with orange hairs at the very tip. They are less likely to be found in gardens.

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Blooms for Bees