11 June 2011

Brown-banded Carder-Bees at Nitten

Today Brown-banded Carder-Bees (Bombus humilis), plus seven other species of Bombus, were taking advantage of the 'Scorpionweed' (Phacelia tanacetifolia), which is a new addition to the sacrificial crop sown by Gordon & Beryl Howe at the Nitten Field this year. Despite the diversity of bee species, actual numbers were quite low although this seems to be the case everywhere at the moment!

Four or five (all seemingly queen) Brown-banded Carders were noted, feeding on Cut-leaved Dead-nettle (Lamium hybridum) and Red Dead-nettle (L. purpureum) as well as the Phacelia, this being a deep flower that this bee seems to cope with better than some of the other species noted.
Phacelia, Flax & Gold of Peasure
Even though the sunflowers aren't up yet the field is starting to look very good this year, being a haze of blue and yellow with the added bonus of the rich, honey scent of the Phacelia. No wonder so many moths were attracted here last weekend!

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