Monday 17 June 2013

Bees Knees

and other parts of them. I had a go at capturing some shots of the various form of bumble bees currently enjoying the flowers of comfrey and raspberry plants in the garden.

It's not easy. They hang down under the flowers and take only moments to strip the nectar and pollen before moving on to the next mark. Busy as a bee is no misnomer.

And the sizes, there are big ones and small ones apparently identical in form and pattern of hairs. How can you know if they are different species, or genders or just part of the normal range of growth?

When you can get a picture of a bee in the wild it's likely to be blurred or from a strange angle, nothing like the straight on view of the wings and back shown in most identification guides. I've not made many identifications I feel confident with - the Carpenter bees being a notable exception.

I don't think we have anything very rare or weird here but I would like to know what have. If you know your bees do make a comment and identify any you recognise. It might take a day or two for your comment to show as spammers have forced moderation but I'm very grateful for help.

unnamed bumblebee
Bumblebee #1 Has a white bottom, might be a clue!

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Bumblebee #2 Rather delicate looking, very active

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Bumblebee #3 Medium sized, very stripy abdomen

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Bumblebee #4 Mostly black and quite small.


Madeline McKeever said...

Great pics! i have spent hours stalking bumble bees and getting blurry pics. I wish i could identify them too.

Catofstripes said...

Thanks. It's all fascinating but it does get a bit frustrating too sometimes.