Bumblebee ID guide

Did you know that by identifying bumblebee species you can help us to conserve them? You can do this by adding your bumblebee sightings to the online wildlife recording survey iRecord, or by signing up for BeeWalk, our national monitoring scheme where you walk a short local transect once a month, recording the bumblebees you see along the way.

It is easiest to start identifying a bumblebee by its tail colour, followed by the number of bands on its body. Click here for more tips on how to ID a bumblebee and click here to learn how to use your own photos to help with ID.

Below are illustrations of all the bumblebee species you will find in the UK, with distribution maps to show where you might find them. Click on the illustrations to find out more about each bumblebee species and their distinguishing features.

White-tailed bumblebees

Broken-belted bumblebee (Bombus soroeensis)

Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum)

Ruderal bumblebee (Bombus ruderatus)

White-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)

Forest cuckoo bumblebee (Bombus sylvestris)

Southern cuckoo bumblebee (Bombus vestalis)

Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

Heath bumblebee (Bombus jonellus)

Tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barbuts cuckoo bumblebee (Bombus barbutellus)

Gypsy cuckoo bumblebee (Bombus bohemicus)

Red-tailed bumblebees

Bilberry bumblebee (Bombus monticola)

Red-shanked bumblebee (Bombus ruderarius)

Red-tailed cuckoo bumblebee (Bombus rupestris)

Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum)

Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius)

Ginger-yellow bumblebees

Brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis)

Great yellow bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus)

Shrill carder bee (Bombus sylvarum)

Common carder bee (Bombus pascuorum)

Moss carder bee (Bombus muscorum)

Field cuckoo bumblebee (Bombus campestris)

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