Brown-banded Carder Bee (Bombus humilis)

After a national decline in the twentieth century this species appears to be making a recovery in the Midlands, and there have now been a number of records from the Common. The bee looks like a pale Common Carder Bee. It has a ginger thorax, and the paler abdomen has a dark band of hairs near the waist. Queens emerge from hibernation in May and the workers appear on the wing in early June. Flowers visited on the Common include gorse, wood sage and thistles, although other legumes are often favourites elsewhere. Small nests with up to 50 workers are often made in long grass.