Tree Bumblebee

Tree Bumblebee ©Penny Frith

Tree Bumblebee

Scientific name: Bombus hypnorum
The Tree Bumblebee is a new arrival to the UK. First recorded here in 2001, it is slowly spreading north. It prefers open woodland and garden habitats and can be found nesting in bird boxes and roof spaces.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 1.0-1.6cm

Conservation status

Introduced, non-native species.

When to see

March to July

About

The Tree Bumblebee is a relatively new arrival to the UK. It was first recorded here in 2001 and is slowly spreading north throughout the country. It can now be found in much of England and Wales and has reached Southern Scotland. It is associated with open woodland, so is commonly found in gardens that have a similar type of habitat. It nests in cavities, such as old birds' nests, bird boxes, or roof spaces. It visits a wide range of flowers, particularly those of soft fruits, such as raspberries and blackberries. It emerges from hibernation early in the spring, around February or early March. Males are seen in late May and June, and adults can still be seen in late autumn if nests have a second generation.

How to identify

The Tree Bumblebee has fuzzy, browny-orange hairs on its thorax, a black abdomen, and a white tail.

Distribution

Found in England and Wales, and Southern Scotland

Did you know?

During May and June, Tree Bumblebees can be seen 'swarming' around their nest entrances, which can be alarming if they are nesting in your roof or garden! But it's not a cause for worry. It is actually lots of males buzzing about, waiting for the queens to emerge so that they can mate with them. The males do not have stingers, so are harmless.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts record and monitor our local wildlife to understand the effects of various factors on their populations, such as the introduction of new species. You can help with this vital monitoring work by becoming a volunteer - you'll not only help local wildlife, but learn new skills and make new friends along the way.