Red-shanked Carder Bee
Red-shanked Carder Bee, Red-Shanked Bumble Bee, Red-Shanked Bee
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.
A long tongued bee, these insects are specialist pollinators of deep, tubular flowers.
Declining in some places due to habitat loss.
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.
Europe and restricted to the South of the UK.
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.
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.