bumblebee_id's picture


Observed: 15th April 2012 By: bumblebee_idbumblebee_id’s reputation in Invertebratesbumblebee_id’s reputation in Invertebrates
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum) interacts


bumblebee_id's picture

Not sure

Really not sure about this identification - it could be B. pratorum, but the tail was quite extensive, and the bee was much bigger than any queen B. pratorum I have ever seen - similar in size to B. hortorum queen.

HawkHoney's picture

Looking at the ID guide, I

Looking at the ID guide, I would be inclined to say B pratorum, but I may be wrong!

Syrphus's picture

I think there is no doubt

I think there is no doubt about this - it is pratorum, which always has a 'broken belt' in the queen, far more so than soroeensis does. Comparison with B. hortorum queens is not helpful because hortorum queens are notoriously variable in size, from huge to tiny. You would not expect soroeensis queens in Scotland to appear until June, and I have never seen one with a tail this colour - usually they are white, with maybe a bit of reddish at the base. Males more often have wholly red tails.



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bumblebee_id's picture


Thanks Syrphus - I was thrown by the large size, and very extensive tail. I'm used to seeing smaller pratorum queens with red tails that are very 'short', so thought it may be a variation of soroeensis.