Ireland has one native honey bee, 20 bumble bees and 80 solitary bees species. Ireland’s bee fauna is less than half the size of that in Britain, which has about 260 species, and is very depauperate is comparison to central Europe.
Bumble bees are social and live in colonies with a Queen, female workers and some males. From a total of 20 Irish species, 6 species are cuckoo bumblebees and don’t make their own nests, but instead lay their eggs in the nest of a true bumblebee.
The National Biodiversity Data Centre has a list of species profiles for Irish bees
The natural history museum in London has released an interactive tool to help you identify bees
Rothamsted the agricultural research centre in England makes available a simple diagram to help group bumblebees according to their colour. UK Bumblebee Colour Groups