Tree Bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum, first arrived in Britain from the Continent in 2001. From its initial base in south-east England it has spread northwards rapidly, and the first Scottish record was last year. On 5 June this year, David Adamson, who has recently started walking a bumblebee transect in the Botanics in Edinburgh in which he records every bumblebee along the line of the route, saw one in his own back garden in Edinburgh. So, this bee has now reached our city. So far it hasn’t been spotted in the Botanics but it can only be a matter of time before it is.
Tree Bumblebee is unlike any other British bumblebee species. The thorax (the bit immediately below the head) is entirely ginger coloured, while the abdomen is black with a white tail. No other British bumblebee has that combination of colours. If you spot one in the Botanics please let me (Robert Mill: email@example.com) know. And if I do, you’ll read about it on this blog.