Bee Safari!

The morning saw a break in the clouds, so like any avid gardener, I went out with a cup of tea and a pair of snips to dead-head everything that has been crushed by the rain over the last few days.

I found myself on A BEE SAFARI!

First, I found this lady asleep on a centaurea. She is a white-tailed bumblebee:

White bummed bumbler asleep on a flower

A little red-tailed bumblebee:

Little bumbler 2

And here’s the front end of that little red-tail:

Front end of little bumbler

Then I don’t know what this one is – red jersey on, and black bottom with a sort of grey down on it Bombus hypnorum, or the “Tree Bee”:

Species 2

The red bee was then joined by another species I haven’t been able to identify, as I can’t see her bum:

Two species of bee on one flower

I then went for a meander about on the lawn, mostly to check how my mushrooms are doing, and a bit of a kerfuffle alerted me to this – a magnificent B. terrestris (buff tailed bumblebee) queen! Well over an inch long – being attended by a regular buff tail, which would ordinarily look like quite a big bee, but next to the queen it looked wee:


When I got too close to her, she waved her arms at me:

B terrestris queen, waving her arms defensively

These guys will burrow cheerfully into one’s lawn and make a nest, and I am very pro-bee and would be upset if I disturbed them once they had, so I’m afraid I moved her into a place where she can burrow to her heart’s content (and where she will be warmer and the soil easier for her to manage).

B terrestris queen - truly beautiful

She was ridiculously beautiful. Glossy, iridescent fur.

I hope I didn’t do anything wrong by moving them. They hadn’t started to burrow – suspect I caught them Doing Bee Sex, actually, but I didn’t disturb them while they were all snuggled up together, obv. I waited until after, when they were smoking tiny fags and trying to think of something to say to one another.

And then the smaller bee flew off anyway. Hm.

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5 Responses to Bee Safari!

  1. particle_person says:

    GORGEOUS! I love bees too, although I get a little nervous around them. But they are so pretty (and have had the courtesy not to sting me in a long time).

    • chiller says:

      I’m dead lucky – haven’t ever been stung yet, though I used to hold bunches of flowers as a child, wait for the bees, and then stroke them as they fed. I guess bees know I like them.

  2. Definitelly a case of ‘getting stuck into the job in hand’ with the flower shots.

  3. Lilian says:

    Bees are lovely. I couldn’t tell you which variety of bee is which, though – impressed that you know!

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