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Flower sharing


Total Posts: 37

Joined 2013-01-30


I’ve seen a number of instances this summer of one bumblebee chasing another off a flower. But this week I’ve seen several instances of bumblebees sharing the same flower head. One particular spear thistle seemed to be particularly attractive to bumblebees.  At one time it had two bumblebees feeding on one flowerhead and four in total. The plant had 7 heads in flower out of a total of 20 heads.

It seemed that as fast as I caught the bumblebees to photograph them, they were replaced by others. At one time it had 2 campestris and a sylvestris drone and another cuckoo bumblebee which I’ve not yet got identified (bohemicus perhaps?).

At the end of my walk, I returned past this plant to find that it now had two cuckoo bumblebees on one head and two on another. I noticed that they didn’t seem to mind if one of the other drones it was sharing the thistle head with climbed over it!


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Total Posts: 81

Joined 2012-05-23


Dear Jamesriall

Only today I had a similar experience.  Inside a flower on a pumpkin plant there were 4 BBs going round and round.  It was impossible to decide which BB they were as they were smothered in pollen.  They must have been working this flower for at least half and hour.

Sparrow - Sue


Total Posts: 45

Joined 2012-08-24


Liatris are quite tall and I have seen several bees contentedly browsing on one flower spike. Often there are different species on the same plant too…solitary bees, bumbles, butterflies and hoverflies all together.