Tree Bee Bombus hypnorum
This is a very distinctive bumblebee which is spreading rapidly north. It is the only bumblebee with a white tail, a black abdomen and an orange thorax. Because it likes gardens and is so distinctive, easily confirmed with a photo, BWARS (the bees, wasps and ants recording society) have been able to track its rapid range expansion north since it was first recorded in Britain in 2001. See the BWARS tree bee page and mapping project for the national spread, how to identify and a fact sheet.
This bee arrived in Cumbria in 2011 but we don't know how widespread it is in the county now. Carlisle is its current northerly limit on the western side of Britain. If you see this bee please email your records to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a photo if available. If it is a new site for the bee, we will also forward your records to BWARS, unless you ask us not to or tell us you have already done so.
Map last updated August 2014