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Black bee

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Joined 2012-06-18

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Hi we spotted a completely black bee enjoying our lavender last night

Can anyone tell us what it might be please?

     

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Total Posts: 4

Joined 2012-06-18

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Nobody any idea? It’s coming back every day!

     
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Total Posts: 15

Joined 2012-08-21

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Hi Saagmum,

Thanks for sharing your lovely photo. If you have one of the face that would help as some bumble bees have short faces and some long so this would help to narrow down the options!

According to Edwards and Jenner’s book there are a few bees that may show in all black forms:
Bombus pratorum/early bb (I think your bee is too big to be this species), B jonellus/heath bb (short face), B ruderatus/large garden bb (long face), B barbutellus/Barbuts cuckoo bee (short face), B campestris/field cuckoo bee (short face).

It is possibly a B ruderatus but a photo of the face would help a lot.

Do send your photo with one of the face if you can get one to Beewatch for ID.

vicbee

       

 

     
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Total Posts: 4

Joined 2012-06-18

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Thanks, here is a picture of it’s face.

     

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Total Posts: 15

Joined 2012-08-21

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Hi saagmum,

Your photo shows this bee has a short face so this rules out B ruderatus.

My guess is that it is a cuckoo but as to which species, I don’t know.

Anyone else have more knowledge on this one?

Do send both your photos to BeeWatch for ID.

Thanks for sharing your photos. Very interesting.

vicbee

     
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Total Posts: 108

Joined 2013-01-10

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All black bumbles are tricky! Is it a true bumble or a cuckoo? Male or female?  Long face or short face?  A black bumble recently found here has been identified and verified from a specimen as a male melanic B. ruderatus .  Two further black bumbles have turned out to be cuckoos with hairy hind legs = melanic male Bombus campestris.  Just to confuse things, some years ago in 2004, a similar-looking black cuckoo was identified and verified from a specimen as a melanic male Bombus sylvestris.  Take your pick!  Make sure you check the clues carefully- pics are not always helpful unless the photographer knows what clues to highlight.  It makes for a fascinating bit of detective work!  Make a note of where you source your information.
urbanbumble