Bumblebees 2006 >
16 December 2005
Hoverfly on Ragwort
Slonk Hill Cutting, south bank
|7 July 2005|
The black colour of some bumblebees makes them difficult to photograph.
A small orange mite was seen on this bee.
A handful of Red-tailed Bumblebees, Common Carder Bees Bombus pascuorum, favouring White Dead Nettle, and at least one Buff-tailed Bumblebee from the wooded path (linear spinney) by Slonk Hill South were observed in passing.
A Red-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus lapidarius, nectared on Dog Violet on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
The Red-tailed Bumblebee,Bombus lapidarius, was definitely confirmed from the wooded path by Slonk Hill South and the Common Carder Bee, Bombus pascuorum, from Shoreham gardens and wasteland.
There were scores of bumblebees in gardens and on wasteland on the edge of town. Buff-tailed Bumblebees were identified, but there were other species as well, almost certainly the White-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus lucorum; but I am not sure about the Red-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus lapidarius, as I was unable to confirm this one.
|I have identified this as
It was one of several seen during the day, this one from the Dovecote Bank.
bee in the photograph on the left is very likely a queen
pascuorum. Not the male of Anthophora
plumipes which has the integument of the
labrum, clypeus and lower paraocular areas (collectively the lower face)
bright yellow; in addition the base of the mandible and the ventral surface
of the antennal scape are all bright yellow. All these structures in your
portrait are black.
ID by George Else on the on the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society Yahoo Group
There were scores of Buff-tailed Bumblebees in gardens and the downs (Mill Hill) including, or perhaps mostly, queens. There was at least one Mining Bee as well in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ 219 063)
Adur Mining Bees
At least two queen Buff-tailed Bumblebees flew around, crashing at least three times at full speed into the glass pane of the French windows at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ 219 063).
Just after midday, the first burst of sunshine of the year felt warm in a shade temperature of 9.7 ºC.
This attracted 25+ dark Honey Bees to a Hebe shrub in The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham, plus a queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee.
A bumblebee flew rapidly over the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ 219 063).
Nothing of special note apart from the small bee (photographed below on the right) on the Devil's Bit Scabious. It was much slenderer and smaller than the Carder Bee. Its abdomen was also more distinctly "zebra" striped in black and white and not furry like the usual Carders. The legs are partly white in this specimen when bumblebee legs are usually black. The nearest match from the Collins Guide by Michael Chinery (p. 244) is Halictus scabiosa.
PS: The Old Collins Guide shows a better match for Lasioglossum malachurus, but this species has yellow legs. Neither of the illustrations are detailed enough to be sure as it could also be a species of Colletes. Colletes hedera is a feeder on Ivy late in the year. This last one seems most likely, but it is still not quite right.
The consensus on the British Insects (Yahoo Group) is that this small bee is a species of Lasioglossum, but the species is unlikely to be identified by a photograph (I did not think it was anything special when I photographed it).
The solitary bee is Lasioglossum xanthopum - the largest British species of the genus, with males that peak much later than any other species (typically late September/early October - we are still trying to work out how it mates as you rarely see females at this time of year). It is a rather calcicolous species and frequent on the Sussex downs, though I have never surveyed these late enough to see males. It is graded Nationally Scarce at the moment. It can be confused for the similiar Halictus rubicundus (slightly smaller with abdominal dust spots at the apices of the tergites as opposed to the bases like your photo).
Approaching dusk, it was nearly dark when I squelched the muddy trail of the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
A Carder Bee (bumblebee) was asleep on the underside of a Devils's Bit Scabious flower.
This is the Common Carder Bee, Bombus pascuorum photographed below. They were frequent on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
18 August 2004
The following photographs were taken in the Butterfly Copse (TQ 209 063) by the Waterworks Road.
This one is the Common Carder Bee, Bombus pascuorum. Its legs are all black.
1 July 2004
(19 March 2003)
(15 May 2003)
This species is probably Bombus pascuorum, which does not look that same as the books because it loses its orange furry thorax as the summer wears on. It is a common species that is more likely to be overlooked because of its small size.
(Identication help by Keith Edkins)
two were discovered in April 2004.
This bumblebee was occasionally seen on the levels
and downs in May
Photographed in the company of others at Buckingham Road-embankment south (west of Slonk Hill)
ID help by Matt Smith
This hoverfly looks like the bumblebee mimic Volucella bombylans var. bombylans seen hovering around in the field next to the stream between the Steyning Road (A283) and the Waterworks (TQ 209 068).
lapidarius, crawled out of the long grass just south of the reservoir
on Mill Hill. There was a small
mite on its abdomen.
Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee, Bombus (Psithyrus) vestalis, male worker. Slonk Hill
Report of the Day
June 2004 at Lancing
Buff-tailed Bumblebees were frequently seen, taking the whole meadow they were common with numbers well over a hundred. A few seemed to be the larger Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee, Bombus (Psithyrus) vestalis, Queen shown in the photograph above.
19 March 2003
A steady stream of orange-tailed bumblebees were observed flying eastwards over the shingle beach to the seaward edge of Widewater Lagoon. Over a period of two hours, a bee must have passed every 30 seconds and I estimated the total numbers passing at about 136. Later in the afternoon a smaller fly-pass occurred.
NHM Bumbebee ID
British Insects on Yahoo Groups
Bees, Wasps and Ants (Yahoo Group)
to Mill Hill page
Adur Bees, Wasps & Sawflies