Belongs to: bumblebees

Common carder bee Bombus pascuorum


Best time to see: mid Mar to mid Oct

Key facts

The commonest of the carder bumblebees, widespread throughout Britain

Commonly found on uncultivated land such as public open spaces, roadside verges, woodland rides

Forage on a wide range of plants, especially deadnettles and flowers in the pea family

Recognition

Queens are fairly small and predominantly yellow-orange to rust-brown in colour, without banding

Workers are similar to queens, sometimes lemon yellow

Lifecycle

Nest is made of grass and moss, at or just below the ground surface or in tussocks of grass

Queens emerge during March or April, build themselves up with nectar and pollen, then search for a nest-site

The first workers appear at the end of April and continue foraging into October

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton