For details see Williams Bumblebees of the World
A very distinctive bumblebee with extensive red marking over at least the last half of the abdomen, and a very bright yellow band on the front of the thorax. It is closely associated with higher altitude habitat and there may be some association with highland areas which support bilberries (Vaccinium spp.) It has also been recorded at sea-level in northern England and Scotland.
Historically, widely distributed throughout northern and western Britain and recently recorded from Ireland. There are very few records from south-eastern England, but it did formerly occur on the higher areas of the Weald near Hindhead in Surrey (specimen in Haslemere Museum collection). There is a marked decline in the distribution of this bumblebee throughout its former range in Britain. The species is boreo-alpine in western Europe only: northern and western Fennoscandia, the Pyrenees, northern Italy, the Alps and Balkan mountains. The closely related B. lapponicus has a more easterly distribution (Svensson 1979).