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I am often sent honeybees as some sort of solitary bee. They can be very confusing as they are so variable in colour. However, the only bees that carry a discrete lump of pollen on a shiny expanded hind leg in the way shown here are bumblebees and honeybee. If you see something like that and it is not on a bumblebee (should be obvious), it will be a honeybee, whether the gaster is almost black or very orange.
Many solitary bees carry pollen on the hind legs, but never in a discrete semi-solid mass, and never on a very expanded back leg - rather in a loose mass adhering to specialised hair patches.
recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.
Thanks for that Murdo, a very clear and useful tip for confirming honeybees.
Entomologist and biological recorder
Lat/Lng: 54.6, -5.9
OS grid ref: NW5433