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:
A little red-tailed bumblebee:
And here’s the front end of that little red-tail:
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”:
The red bee was then joined by another species I haven’t been able to identify, as I can’t see her bum:
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:
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).
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.