The white-tailed bumblebee

The white-tailed bumblebee, Bombus lucorum is widespread and common throughout Europe. This name has been widely used for a range of nearly identical-looking species of bumblebees. Compared to other bumblebee species, the individuals of B. lucorum have shorter tongues, and this characteristic enable them to rob nectar. The worker bee uses the horny sheath around its tongue to make a hole through the flower, reaching the nectar without entering the flower. Therefore, the worker bee does not come in contact with the pollen while getting the nectar.

The white-tailed bumblebee Photo credit: Ivar Leidus

Bumblebee identification

Bumblebee Identification apps available

For those interested in learning more about bumblebees, we highly recommend the following apps: Bumblebees of Britain & Ireland - NatureGuides Ltd., Blooms for Bees - Natural Apptitude, Great British Bee Count - Friends of the Earth Ltd. Bumblebee Apps

The red-tailed bumblebee

The red-tailed bumblebee Photo credit: Ivar Leidus

The red-tailed bumblebee Bombus lapidarius is distinguishable by its black body with red markings around the abdomen. Worker females and the queen look very similar, however the queen is much larger. Males look very similar having both the red and black markings along with a yellow band around the abdomen and yellow spots on the face. B. lapidarius tend to have a medium-sized proboscis, which is significant in that it allows this species to be a good pollinator.

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