Gypsy Cuckoo Bumblebee

Bombus bohemicus

Gypsy Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus bohemicus

The females have one yellow band on the thorax and none on the abdomen. It has a white tail with small yellow side patches on either side. The males are similar but they have an extra yellow band forward of the abdomen. Short-tongued and the wings are usually dark-tinged. Similar to the Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee (Bombus vestalis), where the patches are more distinct, almost forming a band. B. bohemicus is a shaggy-haired species compared to B. vestalis. Size 15 to 20mm.

Gypsy Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus bohemicus

A cleptoparasitic bee of the nests of the White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum).

Gypsy Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus bohemicus

Females searching for hosts to parasitise are seen in April to May. Males and females on flowers in July and August. Found in many habitats, including gardens. Generally found north of the border (opposed to Bombus vestalis which is found in the south) where it is a common and widespread species.

Gypsy Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus bohemicus

June 2005, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2005.

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