Saturday, 10 April 2010
Lots of Bees
Last week while at YSP i saw masses of bees - lots of Buff-tailed Bumblebees Bombus terestris, and this time I saw quite a lot of honey bees too feeding on the willow catkins. I also saw a couple of Red-tailed Bumblebees Bombus lapidarius (the images here aren't great but you get to see how glossy velvet it is and the red tail - interestingly i think some of the small pale dots on it might be mites perhaps - they can be seen a bit clearer on the high res photos). The description in my field guide* says this:
"Distribution: A widespread species found in many habitats. It is currently spreading into north-eastern Scotland.
Nests: Made in a variety of situations, usually in open areas; underground or in wall cavities. Nest-searching queens can be seen from March to June, depending on the distance north. Mature nests are large and frequently contain 150 workers. Young nests are sometimes taken over by the similarly coloured social parasitic species B. repestris. Males are often seen patrolling round isolated bushes or along hedge lines. Newly mated queens may hibernate in large numbers in traditional areas, such as north-facing banks in open woodland."
*The Field Guide to Bumblebees of GB and Ireland by Mike Edwards and Martin Jenner (i love this book)