Red-shanked Carder Bee

Bombus ruderarius

Red-shanked Carder Bee, Red-Shanked Bumble Bee, Red-Shanked Bee

profile iconBombus ruderarius - Linaria vulgaris - Valingu2
by Ivar Leidus (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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A close up image of a red shanked bumblebee Bombus ruderarius drinking nectar from a yellow flower
profile iconBombus ruderarius - Linaria vulgaris - Valingu2
by Ivar Leidus (CC BY-SA 4.0)
1 of 4
Bombus ruderarius is known commonly as the Red-Shanked Carder Bee. They're one of the few 'Red-tailed' Bees in the UK, and together with the red hairs on their legs, they can be relatively easy to identify! The range of this species has reduced dramatically, with sightings becoming less and less common. They're a social bee, living in small colonies of up to a maximum of 100 individuals.
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Traits

A long tongued bee, these insects are specialist pollinators of deep, tubular flowers.
Declining in some places due to habitat loss.

Appearance

Queens: The queen bumblebees grow as large as 1.3cm and are mostly black in colour. The characteristic distinguishing them as a species are the red hairs on the back legs. Worker: The workers are similar but slightly smaller (1.1cm). Male: Again, the males are smaller (1cm), but they also possess faint grey hair, which forms an additional band on the abdomen. They also possess a faint buff-white collar, which just proceeds the head.

Activity

Nocturnal

Personality

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Apidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe and restricted to the South of the UK.

Biological treatment

It's not suggested to treat gardens for bees. Help bees by planting pollinator-friendly flowers, provide bee-friendly habitats or cut down your use of harmful chemicals.

Chemical treatment

Bees are extremely sensitive to pesticides and herbicides. It's not advised to treat flowering plants or to spray near the latter because the bees can be affected.

Attracts this pest

These insects are attracted to nesting sites possessing an abundance of thick, long vegetation. They have extra long tongues, so will exploit the nectar stores of tubed flowers.
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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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