Bombus pratorum

Bombus pratorum

profile iconBombus pratorum (9389381085)
by Donald Hobern (CC BY 2.0)
1 of 4
A close up of a Early Bumblebee Bombus pratorum on a flower
profile iconBombus pratorum (9389381085)
by Donald Hobern (CC BY 2.0)
1 of 4
The Early Bumblebee is a small, fluffy bumblebee that's active as early as February. These bees are relatively abundant in Britain, and one of the first species to arise from hibernation. It's one of the red-tailed species in Europe, but the hue of red can vary between individuals. Find these bees buzzing around white clover, thistles, sage, lavender, and Allium; they thrive in the garden, in open spaces and countryside habitats. They like to nest in abandoned birdboxes, but will also reuse the nests of small rodents!
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Traits

These bees are perfect for pollinating flowers that bloom early in the year.

Appearance

These bees are easy to tell apart from species such as the red-tailed bumblebee. Firstly, they are a lot smaller; but also because their red-rears appear much duller in complexion. The banding is as follows: yellow, black, yellow; black and red. Although, worker patterning can be lost or reduced and male banding brightened and extensive.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Apidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

They can be found throughout Europe.

Biological treatment

Bees can provide ecosystem services which are vital in sustaining a healthy environment!

Chemical treatment

It's not recommended to treat garden plants in flower where bees are present. Pesticides and herbicides can impair a bees navigation system, making it hard for them to find the hive, and in some cases can be deadly.

Attracts this pest

These are brilliant pollinators of flowers and fruit. Although, due to their size, they prefer small-petaled flowers. Here are a few of their favourites:
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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