Take a closer look at these rotating bumblebee specimens from the Museum’s entomology collection.
About 250 species of bumblebee are found all over the world with 25 species in the UK.
Some species of bumblebee are common while others are declining in the UK. Scientists think two species have been lost already, and others have become threatened. Work is still going on to investigate the status of other species, such as the species below.
A major reason for the decline is that flowers like red clover, on which the bees feed, are much less abundant because of changes in the way farmland is used.
Bumblebees are important natural pollinators of many food plants, such as tomatoes, raspberries and runner beans, so this poses a problem for farmers.
The red-shanked carder bee is a small species emerging in early spring.
The bilberry bumblebee is unmistakable in Britain with red hair on its abdomen and bright yellow bands on its thorax.
The common carder bee has shaggy hair and can be seen at flowers late in the year, often into November in southern Britain.
The Scottish colour form of the common carder bee is lighter than the english colour form.
The heath bumblebee is a small species found throughout Britain.