Bombus jonellus is a species of bumblebee that bears the common name heath humble-bee or small heath bumblebee. It is widely distributed in Europe and northern Asia, as well as northern North America.
A fairly small bumblebee, with body lengths around 16 millimetres (0.63 in) (queen), 12 millimetres (0.47 in) (worker) and 12 millimetres (0.47 in) (male). The queen has an average wingspan of 29 millimetres (1.1 in). The face and proboscis (tongue) are short. Females (queens and workers) have a predominantly black abdomen with a yellow collar, the first and sometimes second terga yellow, and a white tail. The face is black, occasionally with a patch of yellow fur on the top. Males are similar, but with more yellow; the yellow collar continues on the ventral side, the two first terga are always yellow, and there is much more yellow fur on the face. However, there are darker forms of the females, as well as forms (sometimes considered subspecies) that differ in the amount of yellow in the fur, and with brownish hairs on the white tail. Among these are B. jonellus hebridensis (which is endemic to the Hebridean islands of Scotland), B. jonellus monapiae and. B. jonellus vogtii. On the Orkney and the Hebrides a form exsists where the males have red tails instead of white.
The nest, which at most can contain 50 to 120 workers, can be situated both above ground and underground. When the climate permits, as in southern England, this species can have two broods a season. A study in northern Sweden shows that the males, when patrolling for young queens, do so at tree-top level marking twigs and leaves with pheromones to attract the queens.
Bombus jonellus is present in most of Europe and a large part of northern Asia. In the west it is common from Iceland in the north to Cantabrian Mountains in northern Spain. It is found beyond the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia and Russia, where it is continuous north of 55ºN, more uneven south of it. In southern Europe, the distribution too is patchy, and restricted to the mountains. In Asia it reaches the Gulf of Anadyr on the Pacific. In United Kingdom it is common in the south-east, in East Anglia, northern Scotland including the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland. It is also found in Canada east to Hudson Bay and Alaska.
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