Saturday 28 May 2011

Tree bumblebee with foxglove

It is the 10th anniversary of the first recorded British Tree Bumblebee, a continental European species which crossed the channel on 2001, esblished successfully and has spread since to much of England. It's natural colonisation has been closely followed by Stuart Roberts, from the Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society (BWARS), who is collating a survey of this spread and has published an information sheet. The bumblebee is very easy to identify, with a tawny thorax and a black abdomen and a white tail. If you have any records you'd like to submit, check the website for more information. In my area, the tree bumblebee is doing really well and it is one of the commonest species at the moment. You can see them foraging on Ceanothus, cotoneaster, brambles and snowberry flowers. Today is the first time I have encountered them feeding on Foxgloves. This individual visited several spikes in succession, given me the chance to get a shot.

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