Bumblebee: Bombus hypnorum
Nature is always changing. The population of some species are rapidly declining (the cuckoo for example) whereas as others are expanding (like the little egret). We have new species colonising our countryside which are a concern (the harlequin ladybird) and others that are a welcome addition to our fauna. This bumblebee is certainly one of the later.
Bombus hypnorum has steadily expanded its range across Europe in recent years and was first recorded in the United Kingdon in 2,000 (perhaps we should call this the Millenium bee?). It seems to have an affinity to urban areas and woodland habitat of all kinds and it is expected to become widespread and common across the whole country in time which is a refreshing change as some species of bumblebee are now considred extinct in the United Kingdom.
I saw these for the first time in Puddletown Forest (May 2012), an area I would not rate highly for wildlife interest and yet there were several of them so they seem well establkished there. Now I need to look out for them elsewhere.
Find out more about the nature of Dorset at www.natureofdorset.co.uk