Barbut’s Cuckoo Bumblebee

Bombus barbutellus

Barbut’s Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus barbutellus

Both sexes have two yellow stripes on the thorax and one on the abdomen with a white tail. They have sparse hairs and the wings are darker. The facial hairs on the male are black. Size 15 to 19mm.

Barbut’s Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus barbutellus

A cleptoparasitic bee of the nests of the Garden Bumblebee (Bombus hortorum).

Barbut’s Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus barbutellus

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. Not generally common, but widely distributed in southern England and in west Wales.

Barbut’s Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus barbutellus

July 2013, local field, Staffordshire. Nikon Coolpix P500. © Pete Hillman 2013.