Tuesday, 7 June 2016
#30DaysWild - Day 7 - Bee spotting
Today I decided to start learning my bees, so whilst I was watering my plants after work, I decided to try and grab my camera to photograph the visiting bees (whilst avoiding them with the watering can). I got the 'Field Guide to the Bees of Britain and Ireland' by Steven Falk and Richard Lewington for Christmas, so have been meaning to re-teach myself to use a dichotomous key to identify the three species I managed to photograph.
The first, I already knew as I help to keep honeybees at work, the dainty Apis mellifera sampled all of my newly added bee friendly plants.
The second I knew was a bumblebee, but had no idea on the species, it was so small and incredibly furry. Using my guide, I think I have now identified it as an early bumblebee, Bombus pratorum.
The final bee was a buff-tailed bumblee, Bombus terrestris audax. This bumblebee was exhibiting behaviour I have seen a few others take part in too. Rather than entering the flowers of the aquilegia, instead it appears to be taking nectar from the long 'horns' at the back of the flower, seemingly without damaging it. This surely can't be beneficial to the flower as no pollen is collected. I think I need to do some more research into this.