What to look for: These bees are black with white tails and two yellow bands across their bodies. Males are smaller with more yellow hairs, especially across their face
Favourite plants: Crocus, erica, mahonia, buddleia, lavender, bluebells, and other herbs, wildflowers and bedding plants
Making a nest: Nest in colonies underground and in disused holes
When active: Early spring to late autumn (sometimes year-round)
Where seen: Widespread across England and Wales
When people think of bumblebees, this is often the species many imagine. White-tailed bumblebees are black with bright white tails and two bright yellow bands running across their bodies - one on their thorax, one on their abdomen. Males appear more golden than the females and have yellow facial hairs.
They are regularly mistaken for other bees, such as the smaller early bumblebee and the darker-coloured buff-tailed bumblebee.
These social bees live in colonies underground or in disused holes left by small mammals. Holes located close to their favourite flowers – which include crocus, erica, mahonia, buddleia, currants, lavender and bluebells – are more highly prised.
These bees can be found all across the UK, especially through the summer months. Although, these bumblebees are increasingly more active during the winter months.
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