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UK Nature  > Bees  > Bombus hortorum

Scientific Name:   Bombus hortorum
Common Name:   Garden Bumblebee

Bombus hortorum, more commonly known as the Garden Bumblebee, is a relatively large bee; queen 17-20 mm, workers 11-16 mm, male 14-15 mm. It has a long head and a slimmer body than some other Bombus species. The collar, scutellum and 1st abdominal segment are yellow, the tail is white. A rather scruffy looking long haired species. Pollen basket with black hair. Often seen in gardens as well as woodland edge and scrub areas, Bombus hortorum prefers flowers such as Red Clover, Cowslips, Foxglove, Vetches and Lavender.

They are on the wing from late April to early October. Colonies contain between 50 and 120 bees, and are present between late April and early October. The queen, the only colony member to survive the winter emerges in April and begins to search for a suitable place in which to establish a nest. Nests are made underground, in banks and among tree roots, but nests in bird boxes have been known. One of the commonest and most widespread of bumblebees in Britain.
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