Bombus (Thoracobombus) veteranus

(Fabricius, 1793)

Author(s) : Rasmont P
The distribution of Bombus veteranus is highly patchy.
The species lives in the plains of N. Europe. The most southern confirmed observations are in the south of the French Massif Central, about the 44th parallel.
As some old data concerning locations in Italy are dubious as they refer to isolated and maybe wrongly identified individuals, Bombus veteranus has not been reliably reported south of the Alps and the Carpathians.
West, B. veteranus reaches the coasts of French Brittany but not the British Is., nor the Pyrenees, nor the Iberian peninsula. North, B. veteranus does not extend beyond the 60th parallel, except in Finland where its range appears to be rapidly expanding. In Russia, it extends east to Irkutsk, including the Altai and the Sayan Mts. It is also present in N. Mongolia.
Within this range, the very abundance of the species is highly variable in time and space. In most places, it is uncommon but it may abound in some, without any intelligible ecological reason. To give eamples, it was one of the most abundant bumblebees in Belgium one century ago, but it is now nearly vanished there. On the contrary, according to Söderman (1999) the species has recently become common in a large part of S. Finland.
According to Voveikov (1953) B. veteranus is often inquiline of other Thoracobombus species, as B. sylvarum, B. muscorum, B. humilis and B. ruderarius.
P. Rasmont