on how to recognise the 6 common bumblebees available now from the downloads page
pratorum, Early bumblebee
Bombus pratorum is a relatively small bee and has a short tongue. Consequently
it is rarely found on vetches but can manage to forage on white clover,
lavender, sage, allium, cotoneaster, thistles and other daisy type flowers.
This bumblebee has the most colour variation of the six common species. The yellow bar on the thorax is usually there, but
may be reduced to just a few hairs. The yellow bar in the middle of the abdomen
often has a break in the middle, and sometimes it is just a few yellow hairs,
and occasionally totally absent. The pink/orange/brown tail hairs are usually
present, but the colour varies.
Lengths in mm , queen
15-17, workers 10-14, male 11-13.
workers are smaller versions of the queen (right),
but the abdominal yellow hairs can vary from being completely absent to being
as abundant as on the queen. The males (below) have the greatest abundance of