Thursday, 25 March 2010
Look What I Found!
I found my first YSP bumblebees of the season!
Actually, i nearly stood on the first one - it was on the grass in the middle of the field east of the James Turrell Deer Shelter. It was just after midday on Tuesday 23rd and it was a beautiful, big fat, hairy thing. It was huge - i could see it for ages as it flew off - i feared for unattended children being swooped upon and whisked off by it.
I also saw a couple on the Access Trail on the crocus, heard one fly near by and then another in the grass near the Barbara Hepworth sculptures.
I used my Field Guide to Bumblebees of Great Britain and Ireland by Mike Edwards and Martin Jenner to make an ID. From following the key i reckon they are all Bombus terrestris Buff-tailed Bumblebee. The description is this:
"A common and very widespread species, found in many habitats but not in the far north and generally scarce in Scotland... A regular garden species. Nest searching queens are probably the first emerging bumblebee species, frequently being seen in February in the south."
All the bees I saw (8 in total) on 23rd and 24th March are Bombus terrestris - it could of course be the same individual bee that i keep seeing....