It has come to light that a new type of bumble bee to Iceland reported recently did not come alone. The raudhumla (bombus hypnorum) was in fact joined by another species which had been incorrectly categorised.
The second bee, called rydhumla (bombus pascuorum), can be mistaken for raudhumla but has a generally darker red back which is lighter at the back of the bee, Visir.is reports.
British bee experts tipped off the Iceland Institute of Natural History that raudhumla might in fact turn out to be two different species last month. Closer inspection proved that this was indeed the case.
It has now been confirmed that raudhumla is living in Keflavik, Hafnarfjordur and Reykjavik and that rydhumla is living in Hveragerdi and Akureyri. The Akureyri sightings would seem to indicate that rydhumla has gained a foothold all over Iceland.
The new bees had been occasionally spotted in Iceland for several years but it was not until this year that queens were found, indicating that they are now living in Iceland permanently. Other species of bumble bee already lived and thrived in Iceland.