Title Photo

A male Red Mason Bee at Freshwater Bay.

Sunday 30 March 2014

More Red-tailed Out and About.

Weather continues to stay warm and sunny and in my garden a good number of Red-tailed bumblebees Bombus lapidarius are on my barberry which is now in full flower.

Thursday 27 March 2014

Early Bumblebee.

Over the last few days the Early Bumblebee Bombus pratorum has been a regular visitor.It is smaller in size than most other foraging species that appear at this time of year and can be distinguished by its dark orangery-red tail which does tend to fade with time.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Workers on the Job.

The worker bumblebees have now started to appear.Maybe the first ones are the Buff-tailed Bombus terrerstris as this species is normally the earliest of the year.The workers are smaller than the queen and have a white tail with a subtle buff line seperating the tail from the abdomen.

Common Carder

The Common Carder Bumblebee Bombus pascuorum is another of our common bumblebees.The queen emerges from hibernation in the spring with workers showing in April.Males and new females are on the wing from July.
Nests are normally built overground under hedges and in leaf litter and sometimes in bird nestboxes or holes in trees.

Monday 24 March 2014

Red-tailed Bumblebee.

Despite cool temperatures and a blustery wind today the bumblebees were still out on their business .
The Barberry was again an important stop on the pollen trail and it is a treat to see the Red-tailed,Bombus lapidarius making a regular appearance.This is one of our common species but no less handsome all in black with that orange-red rump.
The queens emerge from hibernation at this time and find a nest to lay several eggs.These eggs hatch to create the workers who then tend to the nest and young.
The Red-tailed can be found in most habitats from springtime right through to the autumn.

Saturday 22 March 2014

Garden Visitors

Along with the early flowering Hellebore we have a Barberry in our garden which is just bursting into bloom.It is a magnet for all kinds of insects,especially bees. Today's visitors to the  shrub were Honeybees Apis mellifera as well as Tree,Buff-tailed,and Red-tailed  Bumblebees


The Tree Bumblebee.

The Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum is a recent arrival to the UK,first recorded here in 2001.It has spread throughout Southern England and is moving northwards.It prefers to nest above ground and regularly uses bird nest boxes.

Early Risers

Maybe the first bumblebee to see in any season will be the Buff-tailed Bombus terrestris.Also known as the Large Earth Bumblebee,the bee nests in the ground sometimes in old mouse holes.Colony is normally a minimum of 100 bees and can be up to 600.One of the most common bees in the UK.