Latin Name - Bombus hortorum
Conservation Status - In Decline
Location - Europe, Asia and New Zealand
Diet - Nectar And Pollen
Colour - Black/Yellow/White
Length - 19-22mm
Life Expectancy - 2-4 Weeks
The Garden Bumblebee is species of bumblebee found in most of Europe north as well as parts of Asia and New Zealand.
The workers gather pollen and nectar to feed later batches of grubs. New queens and males hatch at the end of the season and mate. The males, workers and old queens die; new queens hibernate. Bumblebees are not aggressive and will only sting if they feel threatened. They are important pollinators of many plants and fruiting trees.
what do they look like?
This bumblebee has an oblong head and a very long tongue, about 15 mm. The tongue is so long that the bee often flies with it extended when collecting nectar. The queen is variable in size, with body lengths between 19 and 22 mm, and wing spans from 35 to 38 mm.
The workers are almost as large, the larger ones overlapping the smaller queens. Their colour is black with a yellow collar, a narrow yellow band on the scutellum, and a third yellow band on abdominal segments. The tail is white.
How endangered are bees?
Two species became extinct in the UK during the 20th century: Cullum’s bumblebee last seen on the Berkshire Downs in 1941, and the Short-haired bumblebee, last seen at Dungeness in 1988 and officially declared extinct in 2000. A further eight species (a third of the remaining species) are currently listed on at least one of the English, Welsh and Scottish conservation priority species lists due to their large-scale declines in distribution.
These declines have occurred mainly because of large-scale changes to the way the countryside is managed. First the mechanisation of agriculture, then later the public demand for cheap food, the need for ever-greater quantities of food and crops, and the increasing reluctance to buy ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables have conspired to hugely reduce the nationwide density of the flowering plants that bumblebees feed on, as well as the sheltered corners that they nest and overwinter in.