Bombus terrestris – Buff-tailed Bumblebee
The Buff-tailed Bumblebee or large earth bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) is one of the most numerous bumblebee species in Europe. The queen iis about an inch long, while the workers are two thrids that size. The latter are characterized by their white-ended abdomens and look (apart from their yellowish bands being darker in direct comparison) just like those of the white-tailed bumblebee, B. lucorum, a close relative. The queens of B. terrestris have the namesake buff-white ‘tail’ tip; this area is white like in the workers in B. lucorum. Confused… me too and it gets worse as many authorities have now lumped these two species together!
Such bees can navigate their way back to the nest from a distance as far away as 13 kilometres (8.1 mi), although most forage within 5 km from their nest. I know that some have hibernated in my garden but I am not sure they have nested.
This last photo shows off the diagnostic features very will including the buff fringe to the whitish tail.