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First of 2014 (for me)

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Morning all…..

What a lovely day Friday was,  NO RAIN and some lovely warm sunshine…. So, there I was giving the car a very much needed wash when I was buzzed by a very unsteady B; Terrestris Queen heading straight(ish) for the Mahonia, she wasn’t there long, but long enough to make me smile.

So the question is, has anyone else seen anything ?

     
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Not stopped raining here :(
Lucky you to have a sunny day and see your first bee smile
Looking forward to noting my first bee AND sunny day smile
BHFB

     
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Congrats Peter!

No bees here and with the weather turning colder i hope your bee survives, fingers crossed.

Hoping we get an early spring and looking forward to my first bee.

     
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Nice one Peter smile

I’ve seen my first Bombus Terrestris Queen of the year..she came and rested on my Euonymus and after a couple of hours I popped out to see her still there

She’d adjusted her position and I was able to give her a little sugar water on the leaf which she fed from immediately….after a good feed she was off again

Just off to build my nest site ............flower pot and hoespipe

I’ll leave you with a photo…...you can see she has a couple of mites on her head

     

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Totally jealous. Lovely photo too.

No bumbles yet in my part of northern Ireland :( but today I saw the first crocuses appear in a neighbour’s garden. So I will be keeping my eyes peeled.

     
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My first post in ages* - and my first bumblebee queens of 2014.

Last Saturday we had a warmish sunny day - at last!
Mid-morning I checked the winter heathers at our allotment site, hoping to see my first BB of the year.
A few honey bees on the heathers, but no bumbles.
A bit later I got a glimpse of a BBQ doing a quick transit further down the site - smallish, dark and chunky, so definitely a queen !

On Monday, not far from the allotments, I spotted a B. terrestris queen sitting torpid on a pavement !
I picked her up,in case she got trodden on, and brought her home.
I put her into a crocus, which she hungrily probed for nectar - without much being available. 
It soon came over cold and cloudy, so I brought her indoors, weighed her (0.59g) and made her some sugar syrup.
She lapped up eagerly, increasing in weight to 0.95g =+60% of her body weight !
Since then the weather has been cold and wet, so the queen is safely stored in the fridge, waiting for a better day before she is released !

Clive

*  Over the last few months bumblebees had to have lower priority, due to what became a family bereavement.

     
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Saw first Bombus queen (B.terrestris) yesterday (25th Feb) flying around conservatory of a friend’s house. The weather was mixed - sun and heavy blustery showers.

Spring is certainly in the air - time to clean out my bumblebee nest boxes. (I have a mouse living in one at the moment).

Kevin

(Carmarthenshire - Cymru)

     
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Hello

a potential bumblebee may have zoomed over my head today in co londonderry in a brief spell of sunshine. But I couldn’t locate her and then it turned dark with hail!
But the crocuses have appeared over the last week and I spotted the first blackthorn blossom yesterday- a good sign that spring is almost here.

Glad to hear from you Clive- so sorry to hear about your bereavement. I hope things are becoming more manageable with each new day,

best, elaine

     
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Clive, w0uld you be kind enough to describe your procedures for placing the BBQ in the fridge please.  No doubt you will add any do’s and dont’s. 

I’ve not seen a BB yet this year but the crocus and pulmonaria are in full flower waiting for them.

I am very sorry to hear of your sad time.

Best wishes

Sparrow - Sue

     
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Hi All,

It slowly became sunny and remarkably warm in Wycombe today.  16 C or more.
About 2 pm I managed to make a quick visit to our Allotment site and checked the Winter Heathers on someone’s plot.
A short wait, then I spotted a B. terrestris queen working the white flowered plants.  (There had been two of these queens there yesterday.)
A short while later and I spotted two B. hypnorum queens - working the pink heather flowers I think.
Then I took a short walk to some abandoned allotments about 150 m away.
I was amazed to see a small “plum tree” in full blossom and there were many Honey bees on it, and a B. terrestris, plus a B. hypnorum.
A second plum tree another 100 m away was also busy.  I saw one B. pratorum queen, one B. lucorum queen, several hypnorums and some terrestris too. 
And I saw a terrestris queen and a hypnorum queen sunning, while resting on some abandoned white plastic sacks - one to each bee !

So, Bingo, four species on one day - Spring has arrived !

Interestingly some Honey bees were working still developing willow catkins on this site - catkins still tight and grey coloured.

Clive

     
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Elaine @birdz_n_beez - 27 February 2014 05:04 PM

Hello

a potential bumblebee may have zoomed over my head today in co londonderry in a brief spell of sunshine. But I couldn’t locate her and then it turned dark with hail!
But the crocuses have appeared over the last week and I spotted the first blackthorn blossom yesterday- a good sign that spring is almost here.

Glad to hear from you Clive- so sorry to hear about your bereavement. I hope things are becoming more manageable with each new day,

best, elaine

Thanks Elaine. 
Life has changed shape for us; and we are now more involved with our grandchildren.
My wife is having to learn very different cooking skills - like Stir Fries and Pasta !
Clive

     
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Sparrow - 28 February 2014 03:05 PM

Clive, w0uld you be kind enough to describe your procedures for placing the BBQ in the fridge please.  No doubt you will add any do’s and dont’s. 

I’ve not seen a BB yet this year but the crocus and pulmonaria are in full flower waiting for them.

I am very sorry to hear of your sad time.

Best wishes

Sparrow - Sue

Hi Sparrow,

Thanks for your thoughts.

The BBQ was in the fridge in a small metal screw-top “pill pot” type thing, with the lid just resting on - so air could get in.  Normally I use a 35mm film casette tub, with a couple of holes in the lid for ventilation.
It is the cool and dark that keeps them quiescent / torpid, but I had given her a feed beforehand to keep her going.
I’ll put the further details about that queen in a re-post, but I released her a couple of days ago, after the weather had begun to warm up.  It took her about an hour to warm up enough to fly - then she was off !

Clive

     
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Hi Clive & everyone,
Lots of people in VC55 saw various queen bumble species in February, but I began to think that I was never going to see a bumble in my garden this spring, having had no winter-active bumbles.  Then on 7.3.2014, in warm sunshine, I saw a queen Bombus terrestris foraging pink Bergenia flowers; and a queen B. pratorum foraging deep purple Hellebores.  Still waiting to see male and female solitary Hairy-footed Flower Bees [Anthophora plumipes] but their emergence often seems to be weather dependent, with the males tending to emerge in advance of the females.
I’m thinking of doing a Bumble Walk this year at our local Country Park - is anyone else having a go?  Time to get started.
urbanbumble

     
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Thank you for your kind comment Elaine smile

And Clive I’m so sorry to hear of your bereavement

I’ve seen a couple of Buff tailed Queens this last week and a couple of dead ones too :( and also a Tree Bee Queen has been very interested in the Guinea Pig Hutch..not sure what the Squeaker thinks of that!

I think I might find another Blue Tit box just in case she wants to set up home


I’ve also seen my first Early Bee Queen today sunbathing on the South facing bricks of my house. I tried to offer her some sugar water but she was a little high up for me

So far this year seems much more promising than last but I expect it’s far too early to know the true outcome of the floods this year

     
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First bumblebee of the year for me yesterday in Kirkcaldy, Fife, didn’t catch enough of a sight of her to identify for sure but I think she was probably a B. Pratorum as she was quite small. Strange though, it was REALLY windy and pretty fresh, around 5c. Hope she’s ok smile

     
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I have been working outside on my house today, The wind dropped this afternoon and now a lovely day in West Yorkshire, Then I heard the unmistakable sound of a Queen bumble bee, just got a glimpse, not 100% on the species, Common I suspect. Nice to hear and see one again, first of the year.
Spring is here!!