Today, on the edge of woodland, nr. Winchester, Hampshire, I saw a very large bee, perhaps 3cm long. It was a rich ochre-rust colour, hairy all over like a bumble bee but definitely not a bumble bee. Bigger than an average bumble bee but no striples, just the rusty colour. It perched briefly on some cow parsley and then flew off, buzzing quite loudly. Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera to hand so I have nothing for anyone to look at. I only saw the one bee of this kind. Does anybody have any idea what it might be?
I've looked at images of carpenter bees and something called a teddy bear bee but there is no scale with the images and they seem to look smaller than my bee.
I look forward to hearing from someone who knows what it is.
I don't think it was this bee. It was definitely rusty coloured not black. I have been looking on the bumblebee.org site and they show a Bombus muscorum. They reckon the queen is 18mm and although I would swear mine was bigger than that, I could be wrong. It is a least the right colour.