Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Beebombs are dedicated to increasing wildflower habitat throughout the UK. 97% of which has been lost since WW2. 

Intensive agriculture, urbanisation and increased use of ever more effective pesticides are causing declines in many of our native pollinators. Beebombs are set on improving this situation, 21 square foot at a time. 

On this blog, we'll be looking at a range of pollinator species and today we are focussing on the beautiful and iconic Buff-Tailed Bumblebee. 

Long Horned Bee (Male) Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey

Common Name: Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Scientific Name: Bombus terrestris

Information:  Fairly well distributed across the UK, although more coastal outside of England, teh Buff-Tailed Bumblebee is often the first species to be spotted in the garden. They are active from February right through to October. 

A large species, it might be the largest that you will spot in your garden with the Queen measuring up to 2cm in length. The workers are a more normal Bumblebee size at around 15mm.

They nest underground, often in abandoned mouse nests with up to 150 workers forming a strong colony.  

Recently the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee has been seen to be active in winter in the southern UK with a warmer climate perhaps suiting this particular species. 

Description: Difficult to tell apart from the common White-Tailed Bumblebee, the Queen is the only one who sports a buff coloured tail. The workers and the males have a white tail making them difficult to tell apart from the White-Tailed Bumblebee when you see one in your garden. 

Look out for the males who are large and do sometimes have yellow in the tail.

Concern Level: Low

Distribution: Throughout England and on coastal areas of Wales and Scotland. 

Female Long Horned Bee
Ben Davidsonspecies, bees