Ray Turner's picture

Mystery Bee

While filling the bird feeders this afternoon I noticed what I assume to be a bee on bramble. I didn’t immediately recognise it but assumed I would simply look it up; having just done so (slightly distracted by the tennis) I now have a bit of a puzzle.

The bee was small, say around the size of a male B. pratorum or smaller, all black except for a white tail.

My first port of call was the handy pdf from the BTO supplied as part of the Garden Bird Watch project (we record many other things as well). When that failed I fell back on Chinery, where I also failed. Any suggestions? I’ll try and get a photo tomorrow.




Ray Turner's picture


I should say I’m in SW London (as is the bee).



Mydaea's picture

Several bumblebees have

Several bumblebees have melanic forms. Including hypnorum.

Matt Smith's picture


I'd say you bee is most likely to be B.hypnorum, of all common species frequenting my garden near Reading B.hypnorum is the species most frequently producing melanic or very dark workers with white tails.

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