Thanks to their iconic furry jackets and low hum that embodies the sound of summer, bumblebees are some of the most charismatic and friendly insects you're likely to encounter in Britain.
Presented in the same portable and accessible format as the Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Ireland by the same author, with a double-page spread dedicated to each species, this guide to bumblebees will appeal to both beginners and more experienced hymenopterists alike. It features stunning artwork by the world-renowned invertebrate artist Richard Lewington, covering the males and queens of all British true bumblebee and cuckoo bee species, alongside their common colour variations.
The introduction includes a double-page spread of the 'big 7' species that are most likely to be encountered in gardens, and additional sections clearly explain how the reader can differentiate between the sexes and recognise true bumblebees from cuckoo bees. The 'at-a-glance' guide provides a quick reference to species grouped by tail colour. Identification can then be confirmed by following the reference page number to the appropriate species.
Each species account includes a detailed description covering field characteristics, habitat and distribution, nest, flowers visited, parasites and similar species, and is accompanied by a seasonal flight chart and up-to-date distribution map. Species accounts are interspersed with spreads showing similar, confusion species, grouped together for direct comparison, and are followed by an illustrated section showing bumblebee mimics and lookalikes.