The tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) is found across the world from Europe to Asia. Recently, it has expanded its range across Europe and appeared in the UK in 2001. Since then it has quickly spread and has now reached the far north of England.
It is often found in gardens and parks and collects pollen from a wide range of plants. It is thought that this species has two generations each year in the UK: queens emerge from hibernation in late February and March and males are found in the second half of May and at the end of August/early September. It nests in places such as old birds’ nests or nest boxes.
Climate change is likely to be driving the expansion of this species. It will be interesting to look for changes in its range, abundance and habitat preferences in the Peak District over time.
- Queens (18 mm long), males (16 mm) and workers (14 mm) all have the same colouring
- Black head, thorax tawny to dark brown and white tip to black abdomen
- Worker shown in illustration
Illustration (c) Chris Shields