British Bumblebees


Here is a list of British bumblebees, with Latin and common names where known.  Included is Bombus hypnorum - not originally a UK bumblebee species, but a relatively recent arrival to Britain.

Click on the links to read more about the species (this is currently work in progress).


Social Bumble bees

Common Species

Bombus lucorum

- White tailed bumble bee

Bombus terrestris

– Buff tailed bumble bee

Bombus pratorum

– Early bumble bee or Early nesting bumble bee

Bombus pascuorum

– Common carder bee

Bombus hortorum

– Garden bumble bee

Bombus lapidarius

- Red-tailed bumble bee

Bombus jonellus

– Heath bumble bee

Bombus hypnorum

– Tree bumble bee




Less Common Social British Bumble bees

 

Bombus soreensis

– Broken-belted bumble bee

Bombus monticola

- Mountain, Blaeberry or Bilberry bumble bee

Bombus ruderarius

– Red shanked carder bee

Bombus ruderatus

– Large garden bumble bee

Bombus humilis

- Brown banded carder bee

Bombus sylvarum

– Shrill carder bee

Bombus muscorum

– Moss carder bee




Very Rare Bumble Bee Species


Bombus distinguendus

– Great yellow bumble bee



Recently Re-introduced


Bombus subterraneous

– Short-haired bumble bee




Extinct


Bombus pomorum

Bombus cullumanus

 Cuckoo Bumble Bees Of Britain

Bombus vestalis

– Southern cuckoo or Vestal cuckoo bee

Bombus bohemicus

– Gypsy cuckoo bee

Bombus barbutellus

– Barbut’s cuckoo bee

Bombus campestris

– Field cuckoo bee

Bombus sylvestris

– Forest cuckoo bee

Bombus rupestris

– Red-tailed cuckoo or Hill cuckoo bee



Read more about cuckoo bumble bees.


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Why Have The Populations Of Some British Bumble Bees Declined?

The reasons are complex, however, habitat is a key issue. 

Generally, the more adaptable bumble bee species in terms of habitat, food and nesting requirement, have remained more common. 

Bumble bees requiring very specific habitats, foraging and food have suffered greatly due to habitat destruction.  For example, those relying on grasslands and meadows have suffered due to changing land management practices, the industrialisation of farming, destruction of hedgerows etc.

In addition to habitat loss, all bees face the challenge of pesticide use across large areas of land.













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