Bumble bee with tip of its tongue curled around a pollen dispensers (c) Martin Webber


Vital pollinators of crops and wildflowers, bumblebees are particularly effective with tomatoes, as their buzz frequency releases large pollen loads. All bumblebees form small colonies, visiting flowers as far as 2km away to feed on the nectar and gather pollen. The pollen coats the bee's hairy body and is then combed into a pollen basket. Usually, only the queens survive the winter, so there's no need for bumblebees to store large quantities of honey in the hive. Of the 250 known species, 24 are found in the UK but only six of these are a familiar sight in our gardens.

Did you know?
The bumblebee's buzz is produced by vibrating muscles and not the beating of the wings.

Scientific name: Bombus

Rank: Genus

Common names:

Bumble bee

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The Bumblebees can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Europe, Mediterranean, North America, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales, Ynys-hir nature reserve. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Explore this group

Buff-tailed bumblebee Buff-tailed bumblebee
Buff-tailed bumblebees are the UK's largest bumblebee species. The queen is the only one that has the buff-coloured tail, the workers all have white tails.


The following habitats are found across the Bumblebees distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

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