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 lovely little creatures - their bright stripes and gentle buzz bring colour and sound to our summer gardens. They are also very important because they pollinate our wildflowers and crops. Sadly things aren't going well and some species are threatened with extinction.
I'm really concerned by these declines and I'm pleased to support the work of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust." 

Kate Humble
TV presenter

Kate Humble
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