Species of the Month: May 2015


Tree Bumblebee: Bombus hypnorum


The Tree Bumblebee is a fairly recent arrival to Britain, with the first individual being spotted in Wiltshire in 2001. Since then, the species has rapidly spread out accross Britain and is now well established in south Wales. Despite this impressive colonisation, the species is still under recorded in the SEWBReC area, with just over 250 records.

The species often makes a home in disused bird boxes, and Spring is a good time of year to spot the large queens hunting for suitable nest sites. The colour and pattern of the Tree Bumblebee are unmistakable: Queens, workers and males all have a black head, brown-ginger thorax, black abdomen with a white tail. More information about Tree Bumblebees is available from OPAL and Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

This map in the Data Access Tool shows the distribution of Tree Bumblebee at a 10km square level for the whole of Wales. Zoom in or click on a 10km square to see the 1km square record distribution.

If you spot a Tree Bumblebee during May (or see the species at any other time of year), please send us the record, ideally via our Species of the Month form on SEWBReCORD (nb. you will need to be signed into SEWBReCORD to use this link). Instructions on how to submit records are available here.