Tree bumblebees first arrived from continental Europe about 15 years ago. They have now been seen throughout England, Wales and southern Scotland. They are doing well in the UK and helping our native eco-system because they are effective pollinators.

Above: Tree bumblebees in Southport.

Prof Mark Brown, Royal Holloway, University of London stated…

“In Continental Europe it lives side-by-side with a lot of the species we have in the UK.”

Stuart Roberts, who is chair of the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society (BWARS), which works with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, said the organisation had received a record number of sightings in 2013 and 2014.

Tree Bumblebee

This species is quite distinctive with a colour pattern of orange, black, white, from head to tail. If you spot one please report it here.

Stuart Roberts said that if a nest was found, it should be left alone.

He said: “In the first instance, relax – the nests will be vacated within the next couple of weeks and you are lucky that these first-class pollinators have chosen you!”

Why is this species doing so well?

A study published in the Journal of Animal Ecology found that the insects are resistant to some nematode worm parasites that can kill off native bumblebees.



Pat Regan © 

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