Each photo is labelled with the Name of that Bee.
This species is distributed widely throughout most of the area covered by this Atlas, but is rarely common. It is widespread in Europe; middle and northern latitudes of Asia, and eastwards to Mongolia (Løken 1973).
Status (in Britain only)
This bee is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.
This cuckoo-bee occurs in a wide variety of habitats.
Over-wintered females can be found from late April onwards, males and new females in July to September.
As this bee is parasitic it does not collect pollen, although females eat pollen in order to develop their ovaries. Foraging for pollen for the nest is carried out by the host workers.
During spring the over-wintered, fertilised female B. barbutellus searches for a small nest of the host bumblebee, B. hortorum. It enters the nest and eventually dominates, or kills the host queen. The parasite female then lays eggs which will develop into either males or females of B. barbutellus. All foraging and nest duties are carried out by the host workers. It is likely that this species will also attack B. ruderatus.
Visits are made to a wide variety of flowers.
Sadly the only photo I have of this type of bee, Taken on a very windy day on Berneray.
Often found in heath and moorland. More frequent in Scotland, in southern England. It is found in gardens and calcareous grassland as well as heathland. The queen and workers look the same, the male has more yellow.
Body lengths, queen 16 mm, worker 12mm, male 12mm.
This is the Male of Bombus lapidarius if you look at the ” Red Tailed Bumblebee” you will see the differences.