Like a small bumble-bee, apparently entirely black or very dark.
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Bumble-bee = Humble-bee (archaic, not used now).
The name 'Small Garden Humble-Bee' for Bombus hortorum is misleading. It is 'small' only in comparison with the much rarer B. ruderatus. Both these (and B. sylvestris) have dark forms, but a fully melanic hortorum is a rare sight. A queen hortorum is the only sort of hortorum you will find at this date, and most are very much bigger than A. plumipes. It is also neither confined to gardens, nor the only species found in gardens!
recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.
Thanks! I didn't even know that something called the Hairy-footed Flower Bee even existed till now! I've found a description of it on the Natural History Museum website and it is spot-on: 'resembles a small bumble-bee...mainly visits deep-throated flowers...flies with a shrill hum'.
I also learnt quite a bit about bumble-bees whilst mis-identifying this bee, so my time wasn't wasted.
Lat/Lng: 52.982480594539, -1.1397886276245
OS grid ref: SK578431