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All black bee with white tail

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Total Posts: 13

Joined 2013-06-12

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Help please with identifying a queen bee with dark wings, appears completely black with a white tail - she flew in from my garden. A few hairs between the wings may be dark brown rather than black but no colour any furhter forward. I uploaded some photos to beewatch but I’m not sure I did it correctly. she doesn’t look like anything in the guides. Scale is in inches.

     

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Total Posts: 339

Joined 2013-01-10

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Hi ewinder,
Some Bombus hypnorum [tree bees] have a dark form [you did see some dark brown - rather than the tawny brown usual thorax colour] but they always have a white tail.  I think that your bumble might be one of these dark ones.  Did you see any other dark workers foraging around your garden?
Urbanbumble

     
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Total Posts: 13

Joined 2013-06-12

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Thanks, I think you’re right. No similar workers, but this was a new queen so no descendants yet. Plenty of hypnorum in the garden though. The confusing thing was the very dark wings,but she definitely had pollen baskets.

I have once seen a hypnorum male with the tawny brown covering the top half of the abdomen as well as the thorax, they seem more variable than some species.