Hi folks - its been buzzing around here too lots of activity with HUGE bumbles , honey bees and a few butterflies too - oh joy of joys i do love the spring :0)
You aren’t the only one who was worried Urbanbumble.
I can finally join the club thanks to some warm settled weather here in NI just north of Derry.
On Monday 10th March I saw 2 white tailed queens! Two days later I spottedmy first Buff tailed feeding on Blackthorn ffollowed by another White tailed. So happy now. Hope the weather is kind to them unlike last year’s spring.
I am sending my casual records to the Irish Pollinator Initiative. I can post a link for any other Northern Irish/Irish bumble watchers
Third attempt at posting.
Clive, so sorry to hear of your bereavement.
Had a Honeybee Queen in the house the other night. Think she had probably been hibernating. Managed to carefully catch her and put her outside.
Was in the kitchen this morning with the back door open and another Honeybee Queen flew in to say “Hello” then flew out again.
This afternoon I was in the garden and a Bumblebee Queen flew overhead. She had a white/buff tail but I didn’t see the rest of her colours.
At the allotment later on I saw two Bumblebee Queens. One was too far away to see, the other a bit closer. Both had white/buff tails and I think the closer one had orange colouring. Both were quite big.
Lovely to see them back. Spring has definitely sprung
Hurray! I finally get to join in this discussion! I’ve been feeling increasingly envious of all your lovely bumblebee sightings. Here in north Glasgow it has been rain for months - I think we have had maybe 3 days without any rain so far this year. Today it is sunshine and showers, and when I went out into the garden, I heard that wonderful buzzing noise! It was a white tailed queen, zigzagging about looking for potential nesting sites.
(Mind you, it is very good frog weather - I’ve had up to 23 adult frogs in my very small garden pond, and the frog spawn is developing well, unlike last year when the disastrous hard frosts killed all the frog spawn).
At last, I’ve seen the first Bombus lapidarius queen of 2014, in my garden.
and I’ve walked my first Bee Walk transect at a nearby country park - just B. terrestris and B. pratorum queens seen searching for nest sites, and several unidentified black bumble-shaped blobs against the bright sky. Most enjoyable experience. Is anyone else doing a bee walk?
Hello urbanbumble and everyone
I would love to see a Red tailed. Lucky you.
I still have just the two species White and Buff but have seen several queens of both busy nest searching.
Well done on starting your beewalk.
You should be able to connect to some active BeeWalkers over on the BeeWalk thread here
Have happily seen some wonderful great terrestris queens in the last weeks. The saddest was two seemingly dead ones in neighbouring tulip flowers; I got my camera to record the event, but they woke up and flew away at high speed. Shame about the photo! The best was on the 17th March in Lancashire - a pristine glowing hypnorum queen feeding on flowering blackcurrant. Allan
great to hear you are still keeping an eye on things in Lancashire.
The best of luck for a great BeeWalk season,
The weather here in Carmarthenshire has been quite cold over the last week. Today wet, breezy and cold (9c) Had a good number of queens in the area during the warm spell but now the numbers have decreased. I have seen the odd brave ones feeding on a neighbours cherry blossom.
On the positive side I have a B.hypnorum queen nesting in a bird box and a B.terrestris nesting in a schwegler artificial box. Lets hope they survive this spell. They are very robust insects though.
I guess Queens that have already set up a nest have no choice but to forage, but others who have come out of hibernation but not set up nests can shelter in a torpid state (?)
First workers of Bombus pratorum and B terrestris seen today at Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. Also first queen of B pascuorum. Plenty B pratorum and terrestis queens feeding on willow today, and one B hortorum on flowering currant. Still waiting for appearance of B lapidarius and B lucorum, plus the cuckoo bees.
On 10 April saw queens of all 6 common social species near Dunglass on the East Lothian coast. The favourite flowers for most seemed to be fumitory, red dead-nettle, and dandelion. B pratorum was even feeding on celandine, as were peacock butterflies.
Just wanted to share with you how the bumblebee season is progressing here in DerryLondonderry.
Another first-yesterday 13/05/14 I saw two B pratorum males for the first time this year. Feeding very busily, impossible to photograph.
In total saw 5 species- a few terrestris and lucorum workers (hadn’t seen this species over the last few weeks-the first brood of workers must have recently emerged), more hortorum workers and queens, many pratorum workers and many pascuorum queens- all feeding on the tufted vetch in the road verges, where they haven’t been mown :(
I have never seen a Red-tailed bumblebee here :( But of all the common bumbles it possibly has the most patchy distribution.
I am also looking forward to seeing my first cuckoo here.
First Bombus bohemicus of year today in our back garden on a yellow scabious that is popular with most bees. As there appear to be very few B lucorum in Edinburgh this year I think that B bohemicus must adopt another host, perhaps B terrestris.
Also had our first definite B hypnorum in our garden today, as this species moves quickly north through the UK.
Nice to hear about the cuckoo. Still haven’t seen one myself.
Your hypnorum record is very important. As it is still infilling both north and west.
You could send it in one of two ways. If you have a photo you could upload it to BeeWatch through the surveys part of the BBCT website. Or if you don’t have a photo please send the record to BWARS through the Hypnorum project part of their website.
Since Thursday a single B hypnorum has been resident on a cherry tree in our back garden in west Edinburgh.
I counted over 30 B sylvestris males today on Corstophine Hill. Most of these were “hilltopping”, only rarely landing but keeping flying around ankle height. In addition to abundant B pratorum males and workers, there was one B lucorum male, one B hypnorum (caste unknown), several B hortorum workers, a few B pascuorum queens and workers, and some B terrestris males (plus B terrestris/lucorum workers). Total absence of B lapidarius (have only seen the occasional queen of that species this year). B campestris and B bohemicus are the other species resident on Corstorphine Hill but it is a bit early in the year for them.
Last Saturday was pleased to find one B jonellus worker on Pilosella officinalis on an abandoned golf course on the edge of Edinburgh.
Although the Bombus pratorum nest in our Edinburgh back garden has been inactive for the past week or so, today there was a queen B pratorum collecting pollen as if starting a new colony. There were also mating B pratorum, the queen flying around with the male on her back. Finally, B lucorum seems to have become scarce in Edinburgh; I have seen only one B lucorum male this year, although its cuckoo species, B bohemicus, has been in our garden for the past week.