19 February 2010

Early Bumble-bees

In response to Nigel's comments on an earlier thread (http://goweros.blogspot.com/2010/02/velvet-scoter-off-crymlyn-burrows-beach.html), I saw my first Buff-tailed Bumble-bee (Bombus terrestris) queen of the year on 16th Feb at Parc-y-Werin, Gorseinon. I'll certainly be keeping an eye open in the race to spot the first Bombus hypnorum for the west of the county! Excellent photos of this distinctive species can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tristanba/3511293282/ though I guess it's not one of the earlier species to emerge?

Thanks for the link to NHM website - this looks very useful.


Mark Hipkin said...

Can't beat a good race. Nest searching queens (Bombus hypnorum)appear in March and again in June. So it may be a case of "on your marks." Nice key in that link.

Barry Stewart said...

Paul Larkin has just emailed me a useful tip:
'I thought a tip might help you find the first Tree Bumble (or Continental Bumble Bee as I call them) for the Gower. I have found several in Kent over the last few years and all have been queens in early June foraging on raspberry canes. So pop down to your local allotment….'