The garden bumblebee

The garden bumblebee, (Bombus hortorum) is distinguished from other bumblebees by its long tongue used for feeding on pollen in deep-flowered plants. They have a remarkable visual memory capacity, which aids them in navigating the territory close to their habitat and seeking out food sources. Due to its long tongue, this bumblebee mainly visits flowers with nectar deep within its petals.

This bumblebee has an oblong head and a very long tongue, about 15 mm, and in some cases even longer. The tongue is so long that the bee often flies with it extended when collecting nectar. Their color is black with a yellow collar, a narrow yellow band on the scutellum, and a third yellow band on terga (abdominal segments) 1 and 2. The tail is white. Darker forms, with a little yellow in their fur, are common.

The garden 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 common carder bee

The common carder bee Photo credit: André Karwath

The common carder bee (Bombus pascuorum) is a species of bumblebee present in most of Europe in a wide variety of habitats such as meadows, pastures, waste ground, ditches, embankments, and field margins, as well as in gardens and parks in urban areas.

The thorax of the common carder bee is either yellowish or reddish-brown in color. The hair of the first four abdominal segments are gray in color, while the hair of the its lower back are yellowish or reddish-brown in color. Although the head of the common carder bee is of medium length, the snout is somewhat longer when compared to other species of bumblebee.

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