I found this sluggish bee in my garden back on 17 April, and it has been puzzling me ever since. I had a hunch that it was a queen, but something about it made me think it was a bit different to the other Buff-tailed Bumbles I had been watching.
I began to think that it was perhaps a Cuckoo Bumblebee, Bombus bohemicus, and visited Stuart's Donegal Wildlife blog for assistance. However, I now have my doubts for various reasons. You can't see the back legs in my photo, and I don't know whether the honey coloured parts in the front legs are signs of pollen. 'My' bee has a central golden band ... so perhaps it is just another Buff-tailed Bumblebee after all.
Now that I have been alerted to the existence of the Cuckoo Bumble, I will be on the look-out for these wily creatures. Do let me know if you can give me an ID for the creature in my photo!
- Colour guide for identification purposes from the Natural History Museum