Brown-Banded Carder Bee

The Brown-Banded Carder Bee (Bombus humilis) is an insect in the Apidae family of bumblebees. 

The Brown-Banded Carder Bee has a yellow-orange fuzzy thorax. It has a broad dark-brown band on its abdomen. Its body has fluffy hairs. It has a rounded head with short antennae. Its rear legs are bare and shiny.

It grows to about 2 centimetres (less than one inch) in length. 

It is common across western Europe and Central Asia. It can be seen from March to November.

It feeds on nectar and pollen from flowers. It is a pollinator.

The Brown-Banded Carder Bee lives in colonies of 100-200 individuals, with a queen bee and worker bees. It is not seen in swarms and it does not live in a hive. Instead of a hive, it nests in grass tussocks. 

The queen bee emerges from hibernation in spring and selects a nest site on the surface of the ground in the grass tussocks. Worker bees build the nest. 

It has four stages in its life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The female lays eggs into a bee burrow where solitary bees live. The eggs hatch into larvae (grubs), which pupate and become adult bees.

Location of photographs: Paris, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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