Bombus (Bombus) lucorum

Pre 2017

2017 - 2020


Conservation status

Least concern

Species Biology


  • Clean white tail
  • Queens have one lemon yellow band on the thorax and one on the abdomen
  • Males have a thin yellow band at the base of the thorax and a yellow face
  • Queens and males can be distinguished from Bombus terrestris, but the research has shown that the workers of B. terrestris and B. lucorum cannot be reliably separated by sight. Workers of either should be recorded as B. lucorum agg. (aggregate)
  • Bombus lucorum is part of a closely related species complex that also includes Bombus magnus and Bombus cryptarum. Molecular analysis has shown that all these species occur in Ireland but that they cannot be reliably distinguished from each other morphologically. See Murray T.E., Fitzpatrick Ú., Brown M.J.F. & Paxton R.J. (2008). Cryptic diversity in a widespread bumble bee complex revealed using mitochondrial DNA RFLPs. Conservation Genetics 9: 653-666. All should be recorded as 'Bombus lucorum' and they are treated as a sister complex.


Common and found in a wide range of habitats, including parks and gardens.

Flight period


Nesting biology

Nests underground in cavities

Flowers visited

Polylectic - Lamium, Trifolium, Lupinus, Ballota, Ribes, Rosa, Salix, Sinapis, Lavandula, Impatiens, Malus


World distribution(GBIF)

Oriental, Japanese, Palaearctic, Arctic, W Nearctic regions

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2023

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Conservation status: FitzPatrick Ú., Murray T.E., Byrne A., Paxton R.J., Brown M.J.F. (2006) Regional Red List of Irish Bees, Publ. Rep. to National Parks and Wildlife Service (Ireland) and Environment and Heritage Service (N. Ireland).

Flowers visited & World distribution: Westrich, P. (1989) Die Wildbienen Baden-Württembergs. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart, Germany.