What to look for: These bees have two yellow bands across their bodies. The queens have a buff-coloured tail. The female workers and males have white tails with a thin band of buff-coloured hair
Favourite plants: Crocus, mahonia, rhododendrons, erica, blackthorn, rosemary, and other bedding flowers, herbs and wildflowers
Making a nest: Nest in colonies underground, in holes or bird boxes
When active: Spring to autumn
Where seen: Across the UK
Buff-tailed bumblebees get their name from the Queen pale brown tail. The all-female workers and the males don’t have these distinctive tails and instead have white tails with a thin band of blonde/buff hairs lapping the base of their tails. Because of this, they are often mistaken for the white-tailed bumblebee.
All buff-tailed bumblebees have two yellow bands lapping their thoraxes and abdomens. The males can be identified by their yellow facial hairs.
Buff-tails love a range of flowers, including crocus, erica, rhodendrons, blackthorn, mahonia and rosemary. Areas that boast an abundance of these bedding plants, herbs and wildflowers will often attract a queen buff tail looking for a nest.
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