The Tree Bumblebee

The Tree Bumblebee

The Tree Bumblebee - UK and Ireland : This could be the most easily recognisable bee. Remember: ginger, black, white = Tree bee! . Photos

This could be the most easily recognisable bee. Remember: ginger, black, white = Tree bee!


•Lead photos 1-3


•Carousel image credits:



Peter Ferns

Why Bombus Hypnorum? Well, the majority of my observations I make are from my garden, situated about 2 miles from Lincolnshire coast, a few miles north of Skegness. When I first moved here I knew very little about wildlife in general, having moved around the country to various cities, following my childhood in the terraced streets of Salford. Bees and wasps were to be feared, as were most other creepy crawly types that I'd previously encountered. I had to get used to having a garden and started to notice what was going on. I first encountered the Tree bumblebee in July 2018 and thought it was just another bee.

Last year I noticed bees going into a hole under a window sill, sometimes counting 15 or so of them. The Lincolnshire Recorder confirmed my research and wrote, "They build their nests in abandoned bird nests and got their misleading English name from an early observation of their nesting in old bird nests in tree cavities. Unlike most bumblebees which fly straight into and straight out of their nests and so are usually difficult to find, B. hypnorum workers hover about outside and make their presence known." I was thrilled to bits that they'd found my old house!

So, these lucky bees won the project lottery. They are known as 'the new bumblebee' in some circles as they were first recorded in 2001 in England and in Scotland in 2013:
There are many observations on iSpot and it might be because the Tree bumblebee is one of the first bumblebee species to be seen in the spring and is active for 3 or 4 months. I hope anyone reading this will therefore watch out for them to add to the records.

This Bumblebee Conservation Trust article gives very detailed interesting information on the species:

EDIT 19/3 I've enjoyed working on this project and thank you all for your comments here and on other tree bumblebee observations.

22 Mar 2021