Thursday, 6 May 2010
The bluebells are absolutely wonderful at the moment at YSP - in the woods on the nature reserve. The blue of the bells against the fresh green of the beech trees is such a beautiful sight.
I've seen quite a lot of Buff-tailed Bumblebees on the bluebells and also a number of Common Carder-bees.
The description of Common Carder-bee Bombus pascuorum (pictured above) in my Field Guide to Bumblebees (Mike Edwards & Martin Jenner) is this:
Distribution and biology - A widespread species found in many habitats. A regular garden species. The range of this species is expanding at the moment. Nest-searching queens are the earliest of the carder-bees to be seen, often in March in the south.
Nests - Made in a variety of situations but usually on or just under the ground. The bees collect moss to build the cover for the nests (hence carder-bee). Mature nests are medium sized, with about 100 workers.
Flower visits - Although this species will visit a fairly wide range of flowers it is very fond of the flowers of legumes and Dead-nettles. It is one of two common species which generally visits the flowers of Foxgloves (the other being B.hortorum)