Buff-Tailed Bumblebee

Bombus terrestris

Buff-Tailed Bumblebee

profile icon2010-04-28 (24) Erdhummel, Buff-tailes bumblebee, Bombus terrestris
by Vera Buhl (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 7
A bumblebee belonging to the Bombus genus on a flower
profile icon2010-04-28 (24) Erdhummel, Buff-tailes bumblebee, Bombus terrestris
by Vera Buhl (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 7
Bombus terrestris, or the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee, is a widespread, common insect. They're one of two sub-species, frequent in parks and gardens across Europe. They're a social bee, building nests containing several hundred individuals. They're capable of 'buzz' pollination, vibrating the flight muscles to remove firmly attached pollen from antlers.
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Traits

Can 'Buzz' pollinate plants.
Invasive in some parts of the world.

Appearance

These bees belong to the group of white-tailed species, but as the name suggests, the tail is not entirely white, being more cream in colour. A queen is most likely seen in spring when searching for nest sites. She's large (2cm) with black and golden yellow banding, with a creamy-white tail (buff colour). Workers and male drones vary between 1.4- 1.7cm, but their banding follows the same pattern. Tip: the slight brown tinge to the tail colour may differentiate this bee from a white-tailed bumblebee.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Apidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe, New Zealand and parts of North America

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.

Chemical treatment

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

Attracts

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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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