Last week we spent a lovely week in North Wales. I was lucky to spot two bumblebees that I haven’t yet seen here in Ireland.
Mountain bumblebees have been recorded in Ireland since 1974. As the name suggests they are associated with upland bogs and heaths, exactly the type of habitat I saw this one. They are a distinctive bumble with half the abdomen a rich orangey-red. Currently this species has only been recorded in the east and north of Ireland.
The second bumble is the Tree bumblebee. There is yet to be a confirmed record in Ireland. It was first recorded in Britain in 2001 and has been expanding it’s range since reaching the Welsh coast in 2012. As this bee likes to use aerial cavities to nest, such as holes in trees, it has been making use of bird nest-boxes in Britain. In fact, it is thought that the species is increasing because of the expansion of urban gardens throughout Europe, which the Tree bumble has been able to exploit for both forage and nesting resources. It’s a very distinctive bee with a uniform brown/ginger thorax with a white tail.