Friday, May 17, 2013

You put your left leg in .....

Bumblebees, like this common carder bee, have a distinctive pattern of behaviour when they are too lethargic to fly. This one was foraging very slowly on dandelions in Teesdale this morning, showing no inclination to fly, but when I gave the flower a little prod ....

Double-click for a larger image

..... it did this, the bee version of the hokey-cokey (for those to young to known what this dance is, click here!). It raised its middle leg and waved it about. I've noticed that comatose bumblebees often show this kind of defensive behaviour when they are disturbed.

When I passed by again, half an hour later, when the morning had warmed up a little and it had presumably refuelled on dandelion nectar, it had gone.


  1. Dandelions are bee-magnets at this time of year, which makes it easy to photograph visiting insects.


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