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).

“Bumblebees are one of the most endearing insect visitors to any garden. Their furry, colourful bodies and clumsy flight always raise a smile, but they also do an essential job. Without their pollination services many flowers would produce no seeds, and fruit and vegetable yields would suffer.”

Toby Buckland
TV gardener

Toby Buckland
View our Flickr
Bumble kids