Bumble Bees

publication date: Mar 25, 2010
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Bumble bee on crocus

Bombus terrestris audax (queen) on crocus.
By Nigel Raine

As the first rays of spring sunshine start to warm the air the Bumble Bee Queens buzz into life. They have been hibernating all winter and now they start foraging for food and laying their eggs.

Did you know:

  • The Latin name for the Bumble bee species is ‘Bombus'.
  • They are ‘social' insects which means they live in a colony.
  • All members of the colony are offspring of a single fertile queen.
  • The size of the colony is approximately 50 to 400 bumble bees. Honey bees can exceed 50,000!
  • Home to a bumblebee is a warm dry insulated and well-drained space e.g. in walls or hedge banks.
  • There are approximately 300 known species of bumble bee around the world.

 For more information on Bumble bees -
Visit our FAQ pageBumblebees info leaflet
Download our free Bumble bees leaflet

Here are a few items to help you to identify the Bumble bees in your garden

   Guide to bees of Britain


 BBC Wildlife pocket guide to Bumble bees


 Field Guide to Bumble Bees of GB & Ireland

 Guide to Bees of Britain


Pocket guide to
Bumble bees  


 Field Guide to
Bumblebees of
Britain and Ireland

 Visit our online shop for more books and a Bumble bee nest box - they make great gifts!



Bumble bee nester 

Bumble bee nester