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Common Carder Bee

Bombus pascuorum

Common Carder Bee

A picture of a Bombus pascuorum Common Carder Bee on a flower

Bombus pascuorum (male) - Medicago x varia - Keila

by Ivar Leidus. CC BY-SA 4.0

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The common carder bumblebee thrives in gardens, woodland and even heathlands. These fuzzy, ginger-brown bees are highly social, readily nesting in things like abandoned bird boxes, amongst hundreds of other bees. They get their common names from their tendency to weave nest bedding from moss, grass and plant fibres. These bees will work hard all summer, producing more workers to serve the queen and her brood. They forage and pollinate flowers that bloom as early as March. They have extra long tongues so that they can collect nectar from tubular flowers.
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Important pollinators earlier in the year.


Adults: Females possess a crimson-red thorax. The collar hair is a darker red in comparison to the abdominal hairs, which appear as black and yellow stripes. These bees show resemblance to the moss carder bee (concentrated in the north) and the brown-banded carder bee (concentrated in the south), however, these are much more scarce in numbers. Tip: the common carder has some black abdominal hairs, sometimes forming thin black/ginger banding. Although, this is less obvious in some individual common carders.












Biological treatment

It's not suggested to treat gardens for bees. Help bees by planting pollinator-friendly flowers, provide bee-friendly habitats or cut down your use of harmful chemicals (or cut them out completely!).

Chemical treatment

Bees are extremely sensitive to pesticides and herbicides. It's not advised to treat flowering plants or to spray near the latter because the bees can be affected even if they weren't intended to be.


Some pink flowers on a Pulmonaria officinalis plant


Pulmonaria officinalis


Calluna vulgaris 'Elsie Purnell'

Red Clover

Trifolium pratense

A close up of some Thymus vulgaris flowers


Thymus vulgaris

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