Southern Cuckoo Bee
One of the most common and widespread cuckoo bees, particularly in the south of England.
Newly emerged females have a ginger collar, which fades to yellow. The rest of the body is black, with a white tail preceded by bright yellow patches on either side.
Males have similar markings, but usually have yellow hairs where the thorax and abdomen meet, and their hair is the shortest and neatest of any male cuckoo bee.
About the bee
– ginger collar
– bright yellow patches before white tail
– males have short, neat hair
– Female: 18mm
– Male: 14mm
The Buff-tailed Bumblebee
Map and flight periods
The Gypsy Cuckoo Bee is very similar but usually smaller. Females are a paler charcoal-black, have a more yellow collar and often have yellow hairs where the thorax and abdomen meet. Males have longer hair, with more yellow where the thorax and abdomen meet, and the yellow patches before the white tail are never very bright (although this can be hard to see late in the season when hairs have faded).