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Increased Bumblebee activity

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Joined 2012-06-18

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Hi all.

I was just wondering if anyone else has seen an increase in Bumblebee activity since the stormy weather began a few days ago?

Up until the storms the lavender was unusually lacking in pollen gathering activity as were the rest of our bee friendly plants. Since the storms activity has increased by a huge amount.

This begs the question, does the rain/stormy weather do something to the flowering plants that increases the amount of pollen being produced leading to increased bee activity or is it something else?

Ron

     
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Joined 2013-07-27

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Hi Ron

Since the storms I have had 30 plus bumble bees on a flowering plant every day all day, before we only had a few so perhaps you are right the storms may have had something to do with all the bees

Clare

     
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Hi

I noticed a lot of activity yesterday, particularly on a long row of catmint.

It may be that the bees can sense the change in weather and every bee is out on doubled effort to collect as much as possible

David

     
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Joined 2013-01-10

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Hi Ron, Clare & David,

Were the bumbles that you saw mostly males?  I have a lot of drones & male cuckoos lazing around on my flowers at the moment.  The hot weather and heavy rain has certainly finished off many of the flowers but whether it is post storms, or just normal behaviour for males at this time of year, they are spending a lot of time on marjorams, lavender, teasels etc.  I always think of them as having completed their main role in life [mating with the new queens], to then spend their final days drinking nectar at the various “bumble pubs”,  until they die and fall to the ground.
The Bombus hypnorum colony in the blue-tit box has virtually finished now [ thanks to them for a lovely crop of blackberries & raspberries]; and the other bumbles around on the flowers are B. pascuorum,  B.terrestris, and occasional B. lapidarius workers with pollen loads on the Campanulas and Teucrium.  The last B. pascuorums of the year are usually seen in early November, so I wonder what it will happen this year.

urbanbumble

     
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Hi Clare, David and urbanbumble.

A thought on the increase in bumble bee activity that crossed my mind. During the dry hot spell the plants were getting less water, I wonder if the increase in water bought about by the heavy rain helps produce more nectar and/or pollen? This would increase the activity maybe? We had heavy downpours yesterday again lasting into the early hours (which also took out the electricity here) but again this morning the bees are in abundance, even on our lavender which seems to have taken a pounding and is looking rather battered right now.

Given your comments on gender visiting the plants urbanbumble we have just spent a little over an hour observing and I can confirm that all but five bees appear to be male, five having pollen baskets that were moderately full. It also gave us time to see if we could identify our buzzy friends, something I’m trying to get to grips with. In the main most are buff tailed although some may have been white tailed but they wont stay still long enough! The other main visitors were common carder. I was commenting while observing that we had seen no red tailed this year but spoke to soon as one solitary red tailed appeared on the clover (we try not to cut the grass while the clover is in flower). Meanwhile our ill fated tree bumble bees don’t seem to be foraging anything from our garden and seem to fly off across the fence into a neighbouring garden or beyond.

Ron

     
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Joined 2013-07-27

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Hi everyone

The bumble bees are still covering my flower ( I have no idea what the plant is) every day from dawn till dusk they are even sleeping on it over night, I don’t have a clue how to tell a male bumble bee from a female but they mostly are white tailed with various sizes from very big to quite small. I do have pictures of them but I don’t know how to download them onto this site, if someone could tell me how to put them on perhaps you could help me to identify them.

Clare

I have tried to download my pictures but the are too big does anyone know how to make them smaller?