09 June 2010

Great Bee Day

I had a very nice recording day today near Glyn-neath. Despite the showery weather there were lots of bumblebees busily feeding on the abundant Common Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). A few B. Lucorum (White-tailed bumblebee) queens and lots of workers, presumed lucorum since no terrestris queens were seen, but impossible to say for sure. Among the workers were 2 Bombus monticola (Mountain bumblebee or Blaeberry bumblebee) queens. It is the first time I have seen this species and I'm absolutely delighted. It was tough getting a good feeding shot so I had to take a few flying shots instead. These shots do, however, show the extensive red hairs on the abdomen (reaching up to segment 2) with no yellow hairs. Also note the yellow hairs on the scutellum. These features help separate if from the more common Bombus pratorum (Early bumblebee).

I also saw what I beleive to be a Bombus campestris (Field cuckoo bumblebee) male. This cuckoo bumblebee invades the nest of Bombus pascuorum (Common carder bumblebee). I have seen a few of these this year and every time they've been, "head to tail," covered in pollen.

Also noted today Cinnabar(3), Silver Y(2), Wall Brown(3), Common Blue(9) and Small Heath(15)

1 comment:

Barry Stewart said...

A good NPT record Mark - I don't see this one that often; in fact only once in Swansea, at Pentywn Mawr.