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I thought it was an early bumble bee, but not in the least confident.
Looking again, I'm a bit more confident - I don't think the tail is actually white. I think it's just the white flower showing behind.
It looks like a male pratorum, with yellow extending to head. I have males around the raspberry/loganberry flowers too - they love em! B. pratorum is always the first here to produce males in number, as its Early name suggests. I think it is one of the most attractive of bumbles, and you did well to get the photos - mine neve stay still long enough.
Jamie from Briantspuddle
Yes I think the white tail is a bit of an accidental illusion caused by the bramble flower petals showing through. Looking up now, B. pratorum looks good for this, size, banding and colour seem right. Unclear whether that is enough info for a positive ID - I've been (er) stung before attempting to ID bumbles - but I'll agree.
And thanks Jamie, to photograph this one entailed standing in the middle of a bramble patch, camera in hand, staring intently at bramble and dog rose flowers for about 40 minutes, muttering swear words to myself and generally looking like a lunatic as the little sods flitted all over the place. Several passers-by gave me a wide berth. Hardly surprising really. But worth it, Paul
Lovely photos and now we know how you worked hard to get them, hats off!
It's shaggy coat, yellow hairy head, lack of pollen basket and hairy leg made me think it was a male, and just enough hint of an apricot coloured bottom, indicated B.pratorum.
B.pratorum male looks like the likely candidate.
I had mis-identified one of these as a male B.lapidarius the other day, but was soon put right!
Seeing increasing numbers of these here now, taking nectar on tayberry and thyme. Easier to photograph on thyme, probably due to there being a higher density of flowers.
Lat/Lng: 50.9166, -0.1485
OS grid ref: TQ302146