This blog documents the story of the Bee Limerick Group and their quest to introduce honey bees back into the city centre of Limerick. Bee Limerick along with its partners are also involved in planting native Irish flowers, shrubs and trees to create a resilient urban ecology.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Identifying Native Bumble Bees

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
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

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