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Bumblebee species guide

There are 24 different species of bumblebee in the UK. To make it easier to tell which bumblebee is which, they can be grouped according to their tail colour: white/buff, red/orange and ginger/yellow. Explore the bumblebee links below to discover more about each species or click ‘learn more about identification’ to discover more about how to identify bumblebees.

Two members of staff looking closely at a sunflower with a Brown-banded carder bumblebee feeding on the centre.

White-tailed bumblebees

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Buff-tailed bumblebee

(Bombus terrestris)

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White-tailed bumblebee

(Bombus lucorum)

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An identification illustration of a Tree bumblebee queen, worker and male.

Tree bumblebee

(Bombus hypnorum)

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An identification illustration of a Garden bumblebee queen, worker and male, and the long face.

Garden bumblebee

(Bombus hortorum)

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An identification illustration of a Heath bumblebee queen, worker and male, amd the short face.

Heath bumblebee

(Bombus jonellus)

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Three identification illustrations of a Ruderal bumblebee queens, showing the light form queen, intermediate form queen, and dark form queen.

Ruderal bumblebee

(Bombus ruderatus)

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An identification illustration of a Broken-belted bumblebee queen, worker and male.

Broken-belted bumblebee

(Bombus soroeensis)

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An identification illustration of a Southern cuckoo bumblebee female and male.

Southern cuckoo bumblebee

(Bombus vestalis)

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An identification illustration of a Gypsy cuckoo bumblebee female and male.

Gypsy cuckoo bumblebee

(Bombus bohemicus)

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An identification illustration of a Forest cuckoo bumblebee female and male.

Forest cuckoo bumblebee

(Bombus sylvestris)

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An identification illustration of a Barbut's cuckoo bumblebee female and male.

Barbut's cuckoo bumblebee

(Bombus barbutellus)

Red-tailed bumblebees

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An identification illustration of a Red-tailed bumblebee queen, worker and male.

Red-tailed bumblebee

(Bombus lapidarius)

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An identification illustration of an Early bumblebee queen, worker and male.

Early bumblebee

(Bombus pratorum)

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An identification illustration of a Bilberry bumblebee queen, worker and male.

Bilberry bumblebee

(Bombus monticola)

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An identification illustration of a Red-shanked carder bumblebee queen, worker and male.

Red-shanked carder bumblebee

(Bombus ruderarius)

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An identification illustration of a Shrill carder bumblebee queen, worker and male.

Shrill carder bumblebee

(Bombus sylvarum)

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An identification illustration of a Red-tailed cuckoo bumblebee female and male.

Red-tailed cuckoo bumblebee

(Bombus rupestris)

Ginger-yellow bumblebees

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An identification illustration of a Common carder bumblebee queen, worker and male.

Common carder bumblebee

(Bombus pascuorum)

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An identification illustration of a Brown-banded carder bumblebee queen, worker and male.

Brown-banded carder bumblebee

(Bombus humilis)

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An identification illustration of a Moss carder bumblebee queen, worker and male.

Moss carder bumblebee

(Bombus muscorum)

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An identification illustration of a Great Yellow bumblebee queen, worker and male.

Great yellow bumblebee

(Bombus distinguendus)

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An identification illustrations of a Field cuckoo bumblebee female and two Field cuckoo bumblebee males (light form and dark form).

Field cuckoo bumblebee

(Bombus campestris)