Red-tailed Bumblebee - Bombus lapidarius


    Lengths queen 20-22 mm, workers 11-16 mm, male 14-16 mm. Bombus lapidarius is probably the most easily recognised bumblebee species, with its black body and bright orange tail. The workers have the same colouring as the queen but are much smaller. The males also have similar colouring but with more yellow hair.

    Identification difficulty

    Commonly seen in gardens and hedgerows.

    When to see it

    May to September.

    Life History

    These bees prefer to nest underground and the base of a dry stone wall is a popular location but it will nest under other stones and slabs. The size of the nest can vary considerably from over 200 bees to less than 100.

    UK Status

    Fairly common in Britain and have expanded northwards to include Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map