The Early Bumblebee

Beebombs have a mission, a mission to re-create Britain's lost wild habitat and #bringthebeesback. 

This post on the Beebomb Bee-Log takes a look at one of nature's great early season sights, The Early Bumblebee.

Long Horned Bee (Male) Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey

Common Name: The Early Bumblebee

Latin Name: (Bombus pratorum)


The Early Bumblebee or Early Nesting Bumblebee get's it's common name from the fact it can be seen as early as February in the UK. It lives in small colonies of around 100, with queens and workers. The queen keeps order through aggressive displays rather than pheromones, as is more common.  Early Bumblebees are important pollinators of berries in the UK and also visit a range of other open and tubular flowers. 

The Early Bumblebee nests underground, often utilising abandoned small mammal nests but even utilising bird boxes, old bird's nests and tree holes. It's this adaptability that means it is one of Britain's most common Bumblebee species. 


Often described as Britain's prettiest bee, the Early Bumblebee is smaller than other types commonly spotted in the UK. They boast bright yellow bands around their abdomens and thoraxes with darker, orange tinged tails. 

Female Long Horned Bee

Concern Level: Low

Distribution: Throughout the UK and Ireland

Ben Davidsonspecies, bees