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 Bumblebees

Common Species

Bombus lucorum

- White tailed bumblebee

Bombus terrestris

– Buff tailed bumblebee

Bombus pratorum

– Early bumblebee or Early nesting bumblebee

Bombus pascuorum

– Common carder bee

Bombus hortorum

– Garden bumblebee

Bombus lapidarius

- Red-tailed bumblebee

Bombus jonellus

– Heath bumblebee

Bombus hypnorum

– Tree bumblebee




Less Common Social British Bumblebees

 

Bombus soreensis

– Broken-belted bumblebee

Bombus monticola

- Mountain, Blaeberry or Bilberry bumblebee

Bombus ruderarius

– Red shanked carder bee

Bombus ruderatus

– Large garden bumblebee

Bombus humilis

- Brown banded carder bee

Bombus sylvarum

– Shrill carder bee

Bombus muscorum

– Moss carder bee




Very Rare Bumblebee Species


Bombus distinguendus

– Great yellow bumblebee



Recently Re-introduced


Bombus subterraneous

– Short-haired bumblebee




Extinct


Bombus pomorum

Bombus cullumanus

 Cuckoo Bumblebees 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 bumblebees.


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Why Have The Populations Of Some British Bumblebees Declined?

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

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

Bumblebees 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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