Tree bumblebee- Bombus hypnorum

I was very pleased to see and photograph my first specimen of a Tree Bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum today.

This species was first recorded in 2001 and has been spreading across the United Kingdom, the first time a new species of bumblebee has colonised the UK in 150 years. It seems to be spreading where many other species are in decline and that is one reason why why there is a close interest in its movement.

The bee is differently coloured to other Bumblebees, so keep your eyes peeled too! Look out for a ginger thorax, and black abdomen with a very white tail. Great link here with a video. I have submitted my records , so filling in another little bit of the map recording their progress.

These bees are a short tongued variety and prefer to feed on shallow flowers, such as fruit blossom, brambles, raspberry and willow herb. With the decline in numbers of other bee species, a successful fruit pollinator such as the Tree bumblebee has to be thought of as a valuable asset.


6 thoughts on “Tree bumblebee- Bombus hypnorum

    1. Hi, I have just identified my bumble bees having found a nest in a sparrow terrace box fixed to the wall of my cottage. I only found it last night and have just taken a few photos. The nest is very busy with different sizes of bees and the face of the box where the opening is, is completely smeared and spattered with yellow pollen. I have also found four dead bees on the ground below.
      I live in west Oxfordshire. The bees are quite definitely bombus hypnorum.
      I am very excited as I have a large fruit garden and have been very worried about the declining number of honey bees and some poor fertilisation over the past year or two. It is good to feel that this bee is going to help!


      1. Hi Sue and thank you for leaving a comment. How very exciting to have a nest! If you can spare the time, please send a record of your nest either using the form on the link on this post or to the wonderful folk at the Bee Wasp and Ant recording society (BWARS)

  1. You are really on the ball. It seems whenever I see some interesting flying creature, whether it be bird or bug, the camera is nowhere in sight! Love the bumblebees, but the hubby is terrified of them.

    Christine in Alaska

    1. Hi Christine and welcome here. I do tend to sneak about the garden, camera ready, just in case, so I just got lucky. It’s all part of my attempt to capture the inhabitants of the garden this summer. I’m going to need a couple of summers to do it justice. Or more.

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