Today I came across several male White-tailed Bumblebees feeding on giant thistles in my local copse.
The White-tailed Bumblebee,Bombus lucorum,is a common and widespread species.The hibernating queens emerge in the spring and start a colony by laying a few eggs.These hatch into workers and later in the season the males and new females appear.Once mated the prospective queens will hibernate over the winter while the males die, together with the old queens in the autumn
The male can be identified by the yellow hair on the head and extra tufts on yellow hair on the thorax and abdomen.
The Leaf-cutter Bee,Megachile, nests in dead wood,holes in plant stems,cliffs,and old walls.They cut out discs of leaves,particularly from roses,and glue them together using saliva to build cells in which their larvae live
The Leaf-cutter Bee can be seen from late spring to August and feeds solely on pollen and nectar.
This bee could be mistaken for a Honey Bee although the underside of the abdomen is orange.There are seven extant species of leaf-cutter bee in the UK which are very difficult to tell apart.It is a common species in the south of England.
The male does not collect pollen and the following photos are of a female.They collect pollen in pollen baskets that are situated on the underside of the abdomen.