Mid Wales Bees and Wasps
This lovely footage of Bombus monticola, the bilberry or mountain bumblebee was taken by Ben Mullen of the Biodiversity Information Service recently. What a stunning little bee these are!
These attractive bumblebees are obvious by the extent of red on the abdomen, which is over half of the area. They will forage from a variety of flowers, not just bilberry, but bramble, clovers, heathers and as seen here, Birdsfoot trefoil. A species that is usually recorded in the north western areas of the British Isles.
Queens are often on the wing from April. Colony sizes are apparently small, with around 50 inhabitants (BWARS, 2022).
Do keep a look out and send in your records if you see this bumblebee - all caste members look the same.