The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.
Range & Status
In the UK this species has a western and northern upland distribution, and is particularly declining in England.
This species is extinct as a breeding species. The most likely last breeding record in Cornwall was at Kit Hill in 1984, although one queen was seen in 2003 in inappropriate habitat (West Looe). There were five other recorded sites on Bodmin Moor in the 1970s.
Habitat & Ecology
This is a short-tongued species, with various nesting habits. It is associated with one plant species more than any other British Bombus; this species being Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus . Willow Salix sp. is important for the queens. Bell Heather Erica cinerea and upland hay meadows with various forage including Fabaceae are important for workers. So a mosaic of different habitats is important.
Over-grazing and the lack of appropriate moorland management on Bodmin Moor has removed any areas with large enough populations of flowering Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus .
This would probably be the easiest Bombus to re-introduce into Cornwall as its ecology is well understood. By targeting management to create large areas of flowering Bilberry the species could possibly re-colonise naturally from sites on Dartmoor.
I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.
The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.