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Silver Bee

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Total Posts: 1

Joined 2013-08-26

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Hell,

Forum Newbie here.

Can anyone tell me if there are any species in UK (whether resident or visiting) that is a silvery white colour.

Over the last couple of days, one has been visiting our garden (or at least one at a time) and it’s back is very much a silvery colour - not any yellow or black or brown or buff to be seen.

Sadly, I have been unable to capture on film as yet.

Has anyone else seen silvery bees, we live in Newmains, Lanarkshire Scotland (ML2 area). I guess you’d call our immediate area a new housing development on a brown field site that is sited immediately next to green belt land - greenbelt land used for cattle & horse grazing - plenty of countryside lanes and hedges etc as well as an abandoned railway bed.

Appreciate a positive identification is difficulty (OK impossible) based on colour alone - if anyone can point me in the right direction of silver bee images, I might be able to identify.

Many thanks in anticipation,

Craig

     
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Total Posts: 64

Joined 2013-01-10

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Hello Craig.
Welcome to the forum.
It can be very difficult and confusing to i/d some bumbles at this time of year when the colonies are winding down.  Some bumbles are at the end of their life and their hair colours become very faded and don’t match the brightly-coloured pics in the books or on the internet.  Worn bumbles would have black patches [of cuticle showing through] where the hairs have worn away.  Some might be foraging at flowers that have pale pollen and they emerge covered in pollen and look totally different to normal colouration. Do you know the name of the flower your bumble was visiting?  What colour is the pollen?  I assume that you have other bumble visitors to your garden - do you know which species they are?  Can you describe them?  They might provide clues as to what the pale version is.  You really need to get to know which bumble clues to look for and its when you know your “regulars” in your garden, that you can sort out newcomers.  I’m down in VC55, so the bumbles I see may differ from yours up in Lanarkshire.
I hope you find an answer to your query - maybe someone else on the forum can offer more information.
urbanbumble

     
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Total Posts: 50

Joined 2012-05-22

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Hi Casman,

Welcome to the forum! I agree with urbanbumble that it could just fading that results in the bees being silvery. Also, do you know if there is any himalayan balsalm nearby? That plant grows along the riverbank near my home, and the bees feeding in it get absolutely covered in shiny silver pollen.

     
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Total Posts: 64

Joined 2013-01-10

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Hello Anthony,
Thanks for the info on the colour of the himalayan balsam pollen,something new to learn every day.
H.b. is a bit of an alien pest species - but the bumbles do love to visit it!
urbanbumble