First sighting in my garden yesterday (7th April 2013), about 6.30pm Prestatyn, North Wales - wonderful to see!
I was really beginning to worry but at long last I’ve spotted my first Bumble of 2013 and not just one but 2
2 x Bombus terrestris on the pussy willow at work today. If I’d have had the time I may have spotted more
I have to say though I am very worried, I would normally have expected to have seen a lot more by now
I’m now up to four separate sightings.
One Sat - as above.
Two B. terrestris on Sunday afternoon 7th April (one sunning on the ground in front of a small Erica carnea plant - and still there 30+ mins later) and the other foraging on some Lungwort flowers.
And this afternoon 8th April, one (almost certainly Terrestris) nest searching over the beechwood woodland floor near my home.
There is still not much forage for them yet though.
At last! Thank you Clive, Sue and Peter for your sightings, great news. I still haven’t had any yet but fingers crossed for this coming weekend. Happy hunting
It is interesting to note that these early sightings of BBs that have been identified are all B terrestris. Is this because they are the first to get going with the others to follow later or is this a coincidence?
Sparrow - Sue
I have now seen 2 bumble sightings. Bombus terrestris queen basking in sunny sheltered spot near compost heap on 2.4.2013.
Another Bombus terrestris queen seen foraging maroon helebores, in warm sunshine, on 9.4.2013.
There were no winter-active bumbles this year.
I’m pleased to say that BB things are hotting up, down here in South Bucks.
I had a quick look round my home area yesterday afternoon and despite not being very warm, I saw 2 B. terrestris queens nest searching, two more working Erica carnea flowers for nectar, and one unidentified (probably terrestris) queen flying across some abandoned allotments about 15 - 20 foot up
And more interestingly, a smallish B. hypnorum queen checked out some Crocus flowers in my garden, then flew off.
I also noticed that the Pussy willow has started to flower: and earlier in the week, about a couple of miles away, there were Hazel bushes with fresh catkins open.
I can’t remember another time when both Hazel and Willow were in flower simultaneously !
At last !- first bumbles of year - 2 hurtling across my small garden in West Suffolk on April 14th. Temp now 20 degreesC- couldn’t identify them but one seemed a bit small for a Terrestris. Last year first sighting on March 3rd , in 2011 on 20th March. It’s been intersting to follow other’s experience this year and to learn about young queen dispersal, which seems to fit these two.
A couple of people had seen their first bees around here over the last few days so I thought I’d go for a hunt.
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire - 14th April - approx 14C, sunny but very breezy
First one of the year that I saw was a smallish dead B. hypnorum (Tree bee) on the pavement unfortunatly, but a bit further down the road, in a patch of young native trees I found about 6 much bigger queens nest searching and feeding on a currently unidentified tree - mostly B. terrestris (buff tail) but also another hypnorum
Saw the first Bombus pascuorum queen today. Warm sunny afternoon with strong breeze.
I came on to say I’ve seen four Bombus terrestris today, 3 at the garden centre and one in the garden. I thought I’d posted a report to say I’d seen 2 last week on the Willow Tunnel whilst at work….........both B. terrestris again but I can’t see my post, maybe I dreamt I’d posted it.
Still not much for them to feed on, I keep topping up my nectar station in the hope they’ll make use of it and the Ribe looks like it may flower within the nest week so fingers crossed…...................
I saw my first bumblebee today (I’ve no idea what kind - but it was quite large) in a garden near Queens Park, London NW6.
It’s been a proper warm but breezy spring day here, down in South Bucks - and much the best day of the spring so far.
With the increasingly better weather I was expecting to see loads of BBs, and things do seem to be hotting up, but not teeming yet ! (I wish.)
Yesterday I spotted 2 terrestris queens, nest searching - and that’s all.
Today has been much warmer but initially I was disappointed.
Later I saw 3 B. terrestris queens, 2 nest searching, 1 foraging.
Also 1 B. hypnorum queen, sunning - initially on a Gorse branch, amongst the spines, then she moved down to the ground and sat on some dead leaves hidden in the grass at the side of a field.
And later on, 2 B. pratorum queens. These were in my garden and working the pink flowers of Bergenia.
These were the first I’ve seen of this species this year.
My honey bee colonies (about a mile from home) were bringing in some Willow pollen, which is Chrome Yellow in colour.
Bumblebees also love working willow, but I’ve not had time today to go to look at what bees are working the local willow catkins.
I also saw 2, maybe 3 Brimstone butterflies, and later 3 Peacock butterflies.
Also a couple of tiny Solitary bees, working a Dandelion flower.
And also saw a mating attempt by an Anthophora plumipes and female ditto. (I/D guestimate.) I’ve seen males of A. p. for a few days now, working Lungwort, so today’s female was the first of the year for me.
(Lots of people confuse the Anthophora plumipes females with bumblebees. They are ~black, with orange yellow corbicula on their back legs - it looks like pollen loads - the males are mid-brown, but with light coloured facial hair. They are big (and furry) enough to look like bumblebees, but are Solitary Bees. They have a very characteristic darting flight. The ‘plumipes’ bit comes from “feathery” bits on the male’s lower legs.)
Just seen a Bombus hypnorum queen - FIRST of 2013, flying along the flower borders - they nested in the garden in 2012 ....here’s hoping!
I’ve been bee-spotting down in our allotment area this morning (a short walk from home).
1 B terrestris queen foraging on Lungwort in someone’s border nearby.
Also 1 B. pratorum ditto.
No bees af any form on the Winter Heathers at the site - there’s some pussy willow flowering about 200 m away, and I suspect that amny bees are over there. (But I’ve not had a chance to look there since last week.)
M&F A plumipes again, feeding on Red Deadnettle.
And to my surprise and delight, around 13:30 and warmish conditions, 1 B. hortorum queen carefully visiting many red dead nettle flowers where there are quite a number of plants growing on ground undisturbed since last autumn.
She had lovely clear yellow fur, a very long tongue and face and was fairly large - so a classic fit for the species.
Photo available - but it will probably take me ages to download it.