Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tree Bumblebee























Yesterday's unbelievably warm weather coaxed this bumblebee out of hibernation in the garden, where it spent most of the afternoon inside crocus blooms, before landing on a wall to catch the last rays of the afternoon sunshine. There's so much crocus pollen on it that it's hard to be sure what species it is....... but thanks to the kind commentators below I now know that it's a tree bumblebee Bombus hypnorum.

14 comments:

  1. That's a charming image, never seen a bee so covered in pollen before.

    The Buff-tailed Bumbles here are HUGE this year.

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  2. Looks like he bathed in the pollen. Great shot Phil.

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  3. Hi PHil, Brilliant! I am certain it is a tree bumblebee queen Bombus hypnorum. Make sure you reported to BWARS sending a record to Stuart Roberts, who is following the spread of this natural invader in the UK. For a map of 2010 check this:
    http://www.bwars.com/bombus_hypnorum%202010%20summary.htm

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  4. Not a hayfever sufferer then. Very uplifting image - Spring is on the way!

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  5. I saw a couple of bumble bees yesterday. It doesn't take long for insects to take advantage of every warm day this time of year.

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  6. Lovely insects, aren't they toffeeapple....?

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  7. Crocus has very large pollen grains too, Keith

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  8. WoW! Thanks Africa - when I was trying to identify it I noticed the similarity to the picture of the tree bumblebee in the guide by Mike Edwards and Martin Jenner but discounted it because the distribution seemed to be confined to the south east. It must be spreading very rapidly! Will report the sighting...

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  9. Hi Snippa, if it was I'd have heard the bee's sneeze....

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  10. Great to hear the sound of bumblebees again isn't it John...?

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  11. with the excitement I forgot to say what a great shot it is!

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  12. Thanks Africa, I've sent the record to Stuart.

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  13. Tree bees were the most numerous bumblebee here last summer (Whitley Bay), so well established in the NE. The first records were made by Shaun Hackett at Simonside Forest in 2007.

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  14. Hello Tim, I noticed the existing records for Northumberland when I checked out the BWARS map that Africa linked me to earlier this evening - now I know what to look for I'll be interested to see how common they are here in Weardale this summer.

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