Bumblebee – Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Tree Bumblebee

Key facts

The Tree bumblebee has been found in the Southampton area and Hertfordshire in very recent years, with some flourishing nests.

IDENTIFICATION

It is brown with a white tail so very distinctive and can confidently be regarded as a new colonist in Britain.

Queens are relatively large, with a ginger-brown, unbanded thorax, mainly black abdomen and a white tail. There are usually yellow hairs at least on the sides of abdominal segment and sometimes an extensive covering of yellow on segments. The head is slightly longer than it is wide, and the tongue relatively short. Workers are similar to the queens, but smaller. Males, too, have a similar general colour pattern, but they have yellow hairs mixed with black on the face.

Similar species

Bombus pascuorum, B. humilis and B.muscorum. The white tail in B. hypnorum distinguishes it from all three similar species.