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:

Untitled

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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About chiller

Rachel Coldbreath spent 20 years working internationally as a technical specialist on large data collections for law firms, before becoming disabled. She blogs on a variety of topics from the news and politics to gardening and how very annoying it is, being disabled. Habits include drilling holes about 1mm away from where they ought to be, and embarking with great enthusiasm on tasks for which she is neither physically nor intellectually equipped.
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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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