Garden Bumblebee - Bombus hortorum

Scientific Name: Bombus hortorum.

English Name: Garden Bumblebee.

French Name: Le Bourdon des jardins (='the garden bumblebee').

5 Key Characters:
  • smaller than White / Buff Tailed Bumblebee B. lucorum / terrestris.
  • black with a bright yellow collar, yellow scutellum (the tip of the thorax) and yellow on the first two abdominal segments.
  • white tail.
  • coat fairly shaggy.
  • black hairs on the corbicular (pollen collection receptacle on the hind tibiae).
Lookalikes: Heath Bumblebee B. jonellus, which a heathland species with ginger hair fringing the hind tibiae. Large Garden Bumblebee B. ruderatus, which has a more even coat and yellow bands of equal width. In B. hortorum the yellow scutellum band is narrower than the collar.

Habitat: Woodland, parks, gardens, cemeteries, allotments, roadside verges, hedgerows, farmland. It is an important agricultural pollinator. Nests in sunny spots above or below ground.

Flight Period: March-April-May-June-July-August-September.

Status: Ubiquitous and common.

References and Further Reading:
Bumblebees by Ted Benton, one of the New Naturalist series published by Collins.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:
All photographs will enlarge in a new window if you click on them. Row 1 a queen foraging in the gardens at the chateau of Chenonceau, June.

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