Buff tailed bumblebee

Buff tailed bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, are one of the twenty species of bumblebee found in Ireland. They are very similar to white-tailed bumblebees, Bombus lucourum, in fact they are so similar that it is impossible to tell the workers apart. The Queens, who emerge in spring, are quite distinct though.

As the name suggests the buff tailed bumble has indeed a tail that is buff coloured (see photos above). While the white tailed bumbles (see photos below) have much whiter tails. On closer inspection, you may also notice the difference in the yellow banding. The yellow bands on the white tailed bee are more lemon yellow.

Inspired by today’s Daily Prompt: Buff



This week’s photo challenge is “Careful”. You may think I should be careful having this bumblebee on my hand. But this little bee is a male bumblebee (you can tell by the yellow hairs on his face) and so it has no sting! But we do need to be careful about our bees. Worldwide bees are suffering declines in numbers, some bees are facing extinction and some have become extinct. We can do much just by providing flowers in our gardens throughout the growing season and leaving some wilder areas with long grass that will be suitable nesting sites for them. To find out what you can do for bees check out the Irish Pollinator initiate and All Ireland Pollinator Plan.