Berwick Wildlife Group

Promoting wildlife within the Berwick area.
Logo of a Goldeneye
Logo of Berwick Bridges

Bumblebees of Castle Terrace
a quick crib. by Fiona Aungier

This is very much a work-in-progress, and I am no expert some things are sure to be wrong.
Do, please, tell me what's wrong and let me know of anything else of interest to include.

Bombus terrestris the Buff-tailed Bumblebee.

Queens large with buff tails. Workers and drones both have white tails with a touch of buff near the black, all have dark yellow striped thorax and abdomen. Large fat bees.

Photo of a Bombus Terrestris worker Photo of a Bombus Terrestris drone

B. terrestris worker rather damp, with collected pollen on hairs on leg ("pollen basket").

B. terrestris male (drone). No pollen basket, thinner "shin", longer antennae, not busy!

Bombus hortorum the Garden Bumblebee

A large and very long bee, usually scruffy-looking with a stripey white bum, and a stripe of yellow hair at the base of the thorax as well as the top of abdomen. It has a very long tongue, and can cope with long flowers, like honeysuckle.

Photo of a Bombus hortorum worker Photo of a Bombus hortorum drone

A B. hortorum worker using it's long tongue on honeysuckle.

A B. hortorum drone showing off it's smooth slender tibia (shin) and long antennae.

Bombus lapidarius Red-tailed Bumblebee

Common and females quite easy to recognise (similar species rare and southern).

Photo of a Bombus lapidarius worker Photo of a Bombus lapidarius drone

A B. lapidarius worker all black with red tail. Note pollen storage hairs on lower leg.

A B. lapidarius drone, yellow thoracic stripes but note abdomen is black and red only.

Bombus pratorum the Early Bumblebee.

A tiny, colourful and very busy species (difficult to photograph workers drones much more laid-back). Short tongued, so likes open flowers.

Photo of a Bombus pratorum worker Photo of a Bombus pratorum drone

A B. pratorum worker busy in a flower
- markings are much as drone to right.

A B. pratorum drone note abdomen is black, red and yellow, (cf. B lapidarius drone above).

Bombus pascorum - the Common Carder Bee.

All brown. Queens, drones and workers similar.

Photo of a Bombus pascorum worker

A A B. pascorum worker. The brown lump on its lower leg is a collection of pollen in its pollen basket. The out-of-focus "stardust" on it's thorax is pollen too. Take care not to confuse with other all-brown but more slender solitary bees. Called a "carder" bee because it gathers balls of woolly moss for it's nest.

back to the top of this Page

Female Goldeneye by John R For problems with this site please contact - John

©Berwick Wildlife Group. This page was last updated on September 25th 2007.