Red-tailed Bumblebee

Scientific Name: Bombus lapidarius

European Honey Bee on Yellow Flower

Species: Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bumblebee – Solitary)

The Red-tailed Bumblebee, scientifically known as Bombus lapidarius, is from the Apidae family. is a widespread and abundant species found in various habitats across the UK and Central Europe.

Conservation Status:

Widespread and abundant, but faces threats like habitat loss.


This bumblebee is a striking insect, making it easily identifiable in its natural habitat. 

How to Identify:

Red-tailed Bumblebees are around 20-22mm in length and are easily identifiable bees in the UK. Look for a black body with a bright red tail (up to 50% of the abdomen).

Both queens and workers share this distinctive appearance, while males have yellow facial hair and bright yellow bands at the front of the thorax.


Builds large underground nests, often containing hundreds of worker bees, being a social, species. Nesting in old burrows and preferring to nest underground, often at the base of dry stone dykes and walls.

When to See:

Active from early spring to late autumn in the UK, and found foraging on a wide variety of flowering plants.


This bumblebee is a widely distributed and plentiful species that can be found in a variety of habitats throughout the UK and a large portion of Central Europe.


This stunning bumble bee can be found in a variety of habitats, including unimproved grasslands, gardens, farmland, and woodland edges. and is commonly observed in England and Wales, with its range expanding northward.

Did You Know Fact:

The red-tailed bumblebee has a medium-sized proboscis, making it particularly effective at reaching nectar in deep flowers.