Blooms for Bees

Blooms for Bees

Gypsy Cuckoo Bee

Bombus bohemicus

Present in pockets throughout England and Wales, but declining in these areas. More abundant in the north of Scotland and east of Ireland.


Females have a broad yellow collar and often weak yellow hairs where the thorax and abdomen meet, then yellow patches adjoining a white tail.

Males have the same markings but with more yellow hair which extends further onto the thorax. Males are slightly smaller and even fluffier.

Gypsy cuckoo bee

About the bee

– yellow collar
– yellow patches precede white tail


– Female: 16mm
– Male: 14mm

Tongue length

– Short


The White-tailed Bumblebee as well as the very similar looking Cryptic Bumblebee and Northern White-tailed Bumblebee. It is thought to prefer the latter two hosts as they are more commonly found in upland areas.

Map and flight periods


Similar species

The Southern Cuckoo Bee is slightly larger, with shorter, neater hair. Females have a darker collar and darker black hair. Sulphur yellow patches before the white tail are also brighter. Males have more yellow where the thorax and abdomen meet.

Males of the Barbut’s Cuckoo Bee may strongly resemble those of the Gypsy Cuckoo Bee, but tend to be tidier in appearance, with duller yellow colouring and no yellow hairs before the tail.


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Blooms for Bees