Tree bumblebee

Bombus hypnorum

About

This 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 and so is commonly found in gardens which are similar to this type of habitat. It nests in cavities such as old bird nests in trees, bird boxes and roof spaces. The tree bumblebee visits a wide range of flowers, particularly those of soft fruits such as raspberries and bramble, and shrubs. It emerges from hibernation early in the spring, in February or early March. Males are seen in late May and June and this species can still be seen in late autumn if nests have a second generation.

How to identify

Tree bumblebees have a distinctive appearance with brown/orange hairs on the thorax, a black abdomen and white tail.

Where to find it

England and Wales, southern Scotland

Habitats

When to find it

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July

How can people help

Bumblebees are a vitally important for pollinating hundreds of plant species, including many crops. But they are under threat from loss of habitat and the increasing use of pesticides and herbicides. The Wildlife Trusts recognise the importance of healthy habitats to support all kinds of species, so are working closely with farmers, landowners and developers to promote wildlife-friendly practices. You can help too: encourage bees and wasps into your garden by providing nectar-rich flower borders and fruit trees. To find out more about gardening for wildlife, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Tree bumblebee
Latin name
Bombus hypnorum
Category
Invertebrates
Bees and wasps
Statistics
Length 10-16mm
Conservation status
Common