An early Bombus hypnorum

7th March 2011, Monday

Today at Bellhurst Wood beside Hobbs Lane, Beckley, a queen Bombus hypnorum, the so-called Tree Bumblebee, was basking on a tree trunk, kindly identified for me by Brian Banks who was visiting the wood. Stuart Roberts, chairman of the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society, has commented that this is only the fourth UK occurrence reported to the society in 2011.

This species has spread very quickly since the first UK record in Hampshire in 2001 – see http://www.bwars.com/bombus_hypnorum%202010%20summary.htm for a description, photos and an up-to-date map. A search on ‘hypnorum’ on the rxwildlife site brings up several previous local reports and photos.