January Bee of the Month: Bombus pascuorum- The Common Carder Bee

Carder Bee croppedThis month we’re looking at the Common Carder bee, Bombus pascuorum.  This bee can be found all over the UK- wherever there are flowers to feed it and has been described as a “mild-tempered” insect. This species can be seen on flowers relatively late into the season- sometimes into November in the south of the country.  It’s an orange and brown bee with shaggy ‘hair’ and of a medium size compared with other bumblebees.  The Common Carder is a social insect, with a queen’s nest containing maybe two hundred workers. Their nests are often to be found in opportunistic locations, like old birds’ or mouse nests, or cavities in wood. Like other bees, the workers, males and old queen die over winter, leaving the new queen hibernating ready to emerge and build her nest in early spring.