British Wildlife Wiki

The early bumblebee, Bombus pratorum, is a black bumblebee, with a yellow band around the front of the thorax and red colouration on abdominal segments 4 to 6. The queen is 15 to 17mm, the worker 9 to 14mm and the male 11 to 13mm.

Flight period[]

Although it flies early - March to July - hence its name, other species such as the large earth bumblebee fly as early as February.


Its habitat is very wide ranging, including fields, parks, scrubland, but not in dense forest.


It is found all across Europe.


It stores pollen in wax pots or empty cells. Colonies rarely contain more than 120 individuals.