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Bumblebee

Bombus spp.

Bumblebee, Bumble Bee, Humble-Bee

A bee belonging to Bombus genus on a flower
Bombus lapidarius - Melilotus officinalis - Tallinn by Ivar Leidus (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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There are over 250 species in the Bombus genus, and it's the only extant genus within the Bombini tribe. They can vary in appearance, but are generally what we all know them to bee - cute, fluffy, and a little clumsy! In comparison to honeybees (tribe: Apini), Bumblebees are larger and hairier, with coloured collars and tails. Most are social, living in groups of several hundred. One subgenus is kleptoparasitic, obtaining resources by stealing from other bees.

Traits

One of the best pollinators for garden plants.

Appearance

Adults: Bumblebees can be identified from their location, size and most importantly, their patterning. Bees are typically stripey, and they can be split into three main groups: white tails, red tails and black tails. Likewise, the queens and males can differ to the female workers.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Apidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Worldwide

Biological treatment

Bees can provide ecosystem services which are vital in sustaining a healthy environment! Attract them to your garden by planting an array of native bee-friendly plants, trees and bushes. Plant for each season. Reduce pesticides and herbicides, or remove them completely. Strim and mow lawns less often when less is in bloom.

Attracts

A close up of a purple Cynara cardunculus flower in a garden

Cardoon

Cynara cardunculus

Viper's Bugloss

Echium vulgare

Some pink flowers on a Pulmonaria officinalis plant

Lungwort

Pulmonaria officinalis

Columbine

Aquilegia spp.

Borage

Borago officinalis

Cosmos

Cosmos spp.

Lavender

Lavandula spp.

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