Sunday, May 15, 2011

Long-tongued Bumblebee

Solomon's seal flowers produce a lot of nectar, so they are a powerful attraction for bumblebees - even if they do have to hang upside down to reach it. Only the bee species with the longest tongues can reach the nectar - this one (Bombus lucorum?) is just about to leave the flower and its long, curved tongue is still extended.


Here you can just see the extended tongue of the bee through the translucent tubular petal

12 comments:

  1. Superb shots.
    It was very honest of you to correct your miss ID............bet nobody would have known differently! Have a good day.

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  2. WOW! Obviously the ancients didn't know about the length of the bumblebee's tongue. Many plants would have been named after it :)
    About your earlier post, a rose is a rose, and a poppy is a poppy to ignoramuses like me, anyway!

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  3. In my experience someone always knows, Adrian - best to get in a pre-emptive confession!

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  4. I wonder where the tongue goes when it's retracted, lotusleaf?

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  5. Last year I was surprised at the length of the hairy-footed flower bee's tongue, probing yellow flag in the local park. Like you, I wonder at the mechanism for retracting it. Telescopic perhaps?

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  6. fantastic shots here Phil,I want to draw bees now!!

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  7. Oh wow! What a superb shot of the bumblebee with his tongue extended. Ain't nature wonderful!

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  8. Marvellous pictures again Phil.

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  9. Hi Rob., when I find a dead one I'll do a bit of dissection and find out!

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  10. Hi Claire, They're interesting insects to watch aren't they. Quite often they seem to just take a breather from ceaseless work, resting on a plant or a fence. I read somewhere that on warm days they can overheat and have to rest to cool down..

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  11. Sure is, Swanscot - and so's digital photography for capturing an instant - I'd probably never have appreciated the length of the tongue if I'd been watching

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