Sunday, 2 August 2009


Nice to see the sun shining today - better make the most of it. A small and familiar insect today, we all know it as a Bumblebee but it is in fact a Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris).
Seen here visiting the flowers of a wild Angelica plant. Buff-tailed Bumblebees are the most numerous in Europe. They are also called Earth Bumblebees because they live in burrows in the ground. They are always to be seen on sunny days, flitting between the flowers in gardens - in the next picture, on our Busy Lizzy flowers.
Only the Queen bee will over-winter and will start to lay her eggs to produce new worker bees as soon as she has found enough nectar in the Spring, to replenish her energy. She will look for a suitable place to build her nest, often a disused mouse hole serves very well. She builds a 'nectar pot' and 'pollen larder' in her burrow to help her to get over periods of bad weather and to feed her offspring. A dutiful mother indeed!
The Bumblebee appears as the subject of Rimsky-Korsakov's famous piece of music 'The Flight of the Bumblebee. Click the 'Play' button below!
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