Village News

Christmas Lights

Brown-banded Carder Bee (Bombus humilis)

Brown-banded Carder Bee

Bombus humilis

Once present throughout much of England and Wales, the Brown-banded Carder Bee has retreated southwards to localities such as the Thames Gateway and Salisbury Plain. Showing signs of recovery in some areas such as the Midlands.

Appearance

Queens, workers and males all have a bright ginger thorax and buff abdomen. A third of the way down the abdomen, there is usually a band of darker ginger hairs. If viewed closely, there are dark hairs above the wing bases.

Brown-banded-Carder-Bee

About the bee

– bright ginger thorax
– ginger-brown band on abdomen
– scattered black hairs above wing bases

Size

– Queen: 13mm
– Worker: 10mm
– Male: 11mm

Tongue length

Long

Nest

Usually on the surface in tall grasses, or sometimes underground.

Colony size

Small (fewer than 50 workers).

Map and flight periods

bombus-humilis map

Similar species

The Common Carder Bee is much more widespread and likely to be seen in gardens. It has a duller thorax, lacks the brown band and usually has black hairs between the cream abdominal bands.

The Moss Carder Bee is of similar appearance, but lacks the brown banding and does not have dark hairs above the wing bases.

The Shrill Carder Bee is smaller, slimmer and much greyer in appearance.

Bombus humilis, brown-banded carder bee, Biodiversity Action Pla

Bombus humilis, the brown-banded carder bee, is also a rare Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species, on the decline almost everywhere.

Status and distribution

The Brown-banded Carder Bee Bombus humilis has declined sharply in the UK over the last forty years or so, mainly because it needs large areas of grassland rich in flowers, especially vetches, clovers and trefoils for feeding.

The queens also need tussocky grass containing mouse nests in which they found their colonies, raking in moss and fine grass leaves.

Heavy grazing, “improvement” of pastures, encroachment of scrub and the use of herbicides have all taken their toll on humilis and other specialist bees such as the Shrill Carder Bumblebee Bombus sylvarum.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Book page

TitleCreated
210113 | Shielding support for clinically extremely vulnerable residents 3 days 40 min agoBook page
210114 | Covid-19 outbreak confirmed at The Beeches Nursing Home in Hayle | The home remains closed to visitors 3 days 5 hours agoBook page
200113 | Denmark’s CDC thinks new B117 #SARSCoV2 variant is so much more contagious (R +0.4 to +0.7) | Scenarios for developmen 3 days 6 hours agoBook page
200113 | Covid update for Cornwall and beyond 3 days 6 hours agoBook page
200113 | Owners of South Crofty mine to list on AIM to finance new tin and copper drilling at United Downs; £5m 4 days 19 hours agoBook page
210112 | Follow the rules or there could be tragic consequences’ - Newquay carer’s no-nonsense message after - Cornwall Council 5 days 5 hours agoBook page
210112 | Soaring Covid-19 cases in Newquay are now comparable to areas of London - Cornwall Council 5 days 5 hours agoBook page
210112 | Royal Navy blow up World War II mortar bomb found on beach in Cornwall; cordon set up overnight after device discovered 5 days 5 hours agoBook page
210111 | Mysterious Cornwall shipwrecks re-emerge for first time in decades 5 days 7 hours agoBook page
210111 | Devon and Cornwall Police receive 885 Covid breach reports By Paul Armstrong Devon and Cornwall Police rec 5 days 7 hours agoBook page
210112 | Police use ANPR to track essential journeys in Cornwall and Devon 5 days 7 hours agoBook page
210112 | Cornwall Police Federation chairman Andy Berry on policing ; urging public not to ‘push the boundaries’ 5 days 7 hours agoBook page

tags in