Common Carder Bee

Bombus pascuorum


One of our most common bumblebees, the Common Carder Bee emerges early in the spring and can be seen feeding on flowers right through to November. It is found in gardens, farmland, woodland edges, hedgerows, heathland: anywhere there are flowers to feed on. It nests in cavities, such as old mouse runs, in bird's nests or in moss mats in lawns. A social insect, nests may contain up to 200 workers. The queen emerges from hibernation in spring and starts the colony by laying a few eggs that hatch as workers; these workers tend the young and nest. Males emerge later and mate with new females who are prospective queens. Both the males and old queen die in the autumn, but the new queens hibernate.

How to identify

The Common Carder Bee is a brown and orange bumblebee, sometimes displaying darker bands on the abdomen. There are two similar species but these are much rarer bees.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November

How can people help

Bumblebees are a vitally important for pollinating hundreds of plant species, including many crops. But they are under threat from loss of habitat and the increasing use of pesticides and herbicides. The Wildlife Trusts recognise the importance of healthy habitats to support all kinds of species, so are working closely with farmers, landowners and developers to promote wildlife-friendly practices. You can help too: encourage bees and wasps into your garden by providing nectar-rich flower borders and fruit trees. To find out more about gardening for wildlife, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Local information

The common carder bee can be seen at lots of BBOWT's nature reserves. Some of our bee-friendly reserves where you might see it are:  Bray Pit, Dry Sandford Pit, Finemere Wood, Hartslock, Hitchcopse Pit, Homefield Wood, and Moor Copse. Why not visit and see if you can spot one?

To find out more about bees, visit our Wild Info section. Learn how to identify different kinds of bees, browse our gallery of bees, and get advice on how to help bees in your own garden.

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Species information

Common name
Common Carder Bee
Latin name
Bombus pascuorum
Bees and wasps
Length: 1.3cm
Conservation status