Common Carder Bumblebee - Bombus pascuorum

Alternative names
Carder Bumblebee

The Common Carder Bumblebee is one of two common bumblebees to have a ginger thorax. The other, the Tree Bumblebee has a white 'tail'. There are other less-common carder bees. Although the abdomen also has ginger bands but the hairless black bands tend to dominate. This species has a fairly long tongue and males can be distinguished from females by their longer antennae.

Similar Species

The Tree Bumblebee also has a ginger thorax but is easily distinguished by the white tip to the abdomen.

Identification difficulty

Found in grassy habitats and gardens.

When to see it

June to October.

Life History

Carder Bumblebees earn this name from their habit of combing material together (carding) to create a covering for the cells containing the larvae. This species usually creates its nestsabove ground, often in grass tussocks, in old mouse runs through grass, in tangles of vegetation or just under the surface of the soil. Colonies vary in size, and can contain up to 200 workers. Only young queens survive the winter; they establish new nests in spring.

UK Status

This species is common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map