Keys and general biology are found in Sladen (1912), Free & Butler (1959), Alford (1975) and Prŷs-Jones & Corbet (1991). A rather small yellow and black-banded bumblebee with an orange tail. It is a frequent visitor to the flowers of soft fruit, making it an important pollinator of these.
It is found throughout Great Britain, although absent from the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland. There is a single locality in Sligo, Ireland. Also recorded from the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands. It is widespread in Europe; middle and northern latitudes of Asia, eastwards to northern Mongolia (Løken, 1973).