Common Carder Bee

A gingery bumblebee, the Common Carder is a distinctive and widespread bee.

Fast facts

Common name
Common Carder Bee
Scientific name
Bombus pascuorum
Bee group
A species of bumblebee
When to see it
March – October


A gingery bumblebee, the Common Carder is a long-tongued bee that nests in tussocky grass.


Common Carders are gingery bumblebees with variable amounts of black hair. Some individuals are pale, while others can have extensive black hairs on the abdomen. This bumblebee has a longer face and tongue, so visits plants with tubular flowers. Queens, workers and males all look similar.


Ground nesting, this bumblebee nests within grassy tussocks. A long-tongued bee, you’ll find this bee on deeper flowered plants such as Bluebell and Comfrey. It has a long flight period, from March through to October, and is likely one of the last bumblebees you’ll see in the year.

Similar species

Due to the ginger top and often dark abdomen, this species can be confused with the Tree Bumblebee from some angles. However, Common Carders do not have a white tail.

Common Carder © John Buxton

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Regional distribution

A widespread bumblebee found in a wide variety of habitats, the Common Carder is one of the most common bumblebees in the North East. Nationally, it is considered the commonest bumblebee.