How to identify bumblebees:

  • Are they round and very hairy with a yellow/white or orange band on its tail/bottom?
  • Are they like stripy footballs?
  • Do they make a very loud buzzing sound?
  • Are they living in an old bird box, a compost heap, under the decking, a hole in the ground?

IF YES: These are BUMBLEBEES. Leave them alone if possible. Bumblebees are an important pollinator and rarely sting. Bumblebees are under threat of extinction.

Bumble bee colonies are much smaller than honey bee ones – a few hundred at the most, and a bird box is just about right for them. They will just mind their own business if left alone and should be no more a hazard than if they were in your neighbour’s garden, for instance.

There is however a tree bumble bee that has been making its way northwards and may have reached Sheffield by now. It is very sensitive to noise and vibration and apparently very defensive so it can be a hazard in heavily trafficked areas or if the colony is nesting on a shed wall and the door is banged when opened & closed.

Beekeepers do not deal with bumble bees.

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