Blaeberry bumblebee bonanza!
My search to see the Blaeberry bumblebee (Bombus monticola) has featured in severeal of my blogs in the past. It started with my (unsuccessful) search in 2012, when I climbed hills that were well-known Blaeberry bee sites. Then I was extremely lucky to find a single male of the species last year, just as the summer came to an end. But this year I’ve hit the motherload!
Walking the hills in Glen Lyon, Perthshire, I found a conservation area that was fenced off to prevent deer from grazing it. Deer are some of the biggest enemies of wildflowers, especially in places where their numbers are too high because of the lack of natural predators, so this area was much more lush than the surrounding paths, which has been stripped bare in some places.
Through the fence I could see swathes of blooming blaeberry plants, and hear the hum of bumblebees. If I was going to see Blaeberry bumblebee queens anywhere, it was here.
I couldn’t believe it when I spotted by first Blaeberry queen, followed by another, and another and another! Literally dozens of bees, feeding busily on the little flowers.
See below for photos of the place where I found the bee - glorious!