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UK Nature  > Bees  > Bombus lucorum

Scientific Name:   Bombus lucorum
Common Name:   White-tailed Bumble Bee

Bombus lucorum, or the White-tailed Bumble Bee as it's commonly known, is a large bumblebee with the queen having a length of 18 millimetres (0.71 in) to 22 millimetres (0.87 in) and a wingspan of around 36 millimetres (1.4 in). The workers are normally somewhat smaller. The species has a short proboscis (tongue). The predominating colour is black, with a pale yellow collar, another yellow band on the second tergite (abdominal segment), and a white tail. Both darker and paler forms exist.

The hibernating queen emerges very early, in southern Britain usually in March. The nest, which can be very large, up to 400 workers, is usually built underground, often in disused rodent nests. As many other bumblebee males, the males fly in a low patrolling circuit, depositing pheromones on grass to attract young queens. Bombus lucorum visits many flowers such as lavender, hebe, rhododendron, white dead-nettles, thistles and vetches.
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