The Shrill Carder Bee (Bombus sylvarum) is a rare bumblebee that is in decline across Europe. It is associated with open flower-rich grassland habitats and emerges from hibernation slightly later than other species to coincide with this food source becoming available. It’s common name comes from its distinctive high-pitched buzz when flying. It is listed as Endangered in the Red List of Irish Bees (2006).

Before 1980, the Shrill Carder Bee had a widespread but localised distribution in the southern half of Ireland. It has never been recorded further north than County Roscommon. Currently, populations  are known only in the Burren Region, with occasional sightings in nearby areas such as south Galway. Significantly, the Burren now represents the most important location for the species in both Ireland and Britain.

The Shrill Carder Bee needs stable, flower-rich grassland sites that provide food (pollen and nectar), safety (from pests, diseases and pesticides) and shelter (suitable nesting and hibernation spots). Thanks to Dara Stanley and Sharon Parr for their helping in developing resources, and to the National Parks and Wildlife Service for their support.

Resources have been produced to help communities protect the Shrill Carder Bee. On this page, you will find:


Guideline document: Protecting rare pollinators: Shrill Carder Bee


Shrill Carder Bee poster or information board:


Large Carder Bee sign template: