Chance to see rare bumble bee

Rare Ruderal bumblebees can be seen at WWT Welney Wetland Centre.
Rare Ruderal bumblebees can be seen at WWT Welney Wetland Centre.
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Wildlife enthusiasts can get the chance to spot a rare bumblebee at the Welney Wetland Centre this summer.

The Ruderal bumblebee, a scarce species in the UK, have been busy visiting the reserve to feast on its wildflowers.

The colour of width of the insects’ distinctive yellow stripes are extremely variable on the Ruderal species, with some not having any at all and being completely black.

Only three populations of the species were found in Norfolk between 2001 and 2011, with a decline in numbers due to threats including changes to modern land uses and farming practices.

Joshua Wells, assistant warden at the wetland centre, said: “The wetlands provide the plants these insects need to exist. You don’t have to look far; the swathes of wildflowers beside the footpaths are a favourite spot for the bees and many other pollinating insects.

“Ruderal bumblebees will be out on the reserve for a few more weeks before the queens start to think about hibernating.”