Very rare bumblebees

Great yellow bumblebee  Bombus distinguendus

Queens, workers and males are all yellow in colour, with a distinct band of black hair stretching across the thorax. In males there are usually some yellow hairs mixed in with the black band, and there is more prominent yellow hair on the face. This species is now only found on the north coast and islands of Scotland, and in Ireland.


Shrill carder bee  Bombus sylvarum

The queens, workers and males all have pale yellow hair on the thorax, with a dark black-brown band in the middle of the thorax between the wing bases. The abdomen mainly has pale yellow-ginger hairs, but may have darker bands along it. The tail is ginger-red, but this can fade and be quite pale. Click here to download our factsheet on the Shrill carder bee (pdf 1.2mb).

"We are facing a fundamental problem with the decline of bees and other pollinators. They have an absolutely crucial role in pollinating many of our important crops - without them we will face higher food costs and potential shortages."

Professor Douglas Kell
BBSRC Chief Executive

View our Flickr
Bee clued up