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pollen baskets


Total Posts: 45

Joined 2012-08-24


I thought that this bumblebee looked very laden with pollen. I took the photo earlier in the summer and now I’m seeing fewer bumbles with pollen baskets full…most just seem to be feeding.

looked rather sweet I thought smile


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Total Posts: 35

Joined 2012-08-13


The reason for this is that the worker bees (females) emerge first and their job is to gather pollen and nectar. After a while, the queen will produce males, they do not have pollen baskets, they just feed on nectar waiting for a new queen to mate with. So as the season goes on you will see more males than workers, and then you may see the new queens, which will mate with the males and then hibernate for the next year. The rest of the bees die off :( The males of many of the bees have yellow hairs on their faces, so if you get a good view you can often tell what they are smile Hope this helps explain things. Your picture is lovely too, very laden pollen baskets smile


Total Posts: 338

Joined 2013-01-10


Your busy bumble certainly has a huge pollen load.  It’s interesting to see the distinctive colour of some pollen loads and to try and sort out which flowers they have been visiting.  Bumbles that forage those large oriental poppies often go in stripy and emerge purple!  Bumbles in my garden at present are mostly males, including cuckoos ; although yesterday I saw a huge pristine tree bumblebee queen, Bombus hypnorum   [activity at the nest box colony seems to have finished now].
Recently, there has been a sudden flurry of queries about black bumble sightings, which so far have been identified as Bombus campestris melanic male cuckoos; but the most interesting one has been a melanic male Bombus ruderatus [verified from specimen]. There have not been many recent records of these in VC55.  It can be quite tricky deciding which species it is from just photos - the the bumbles all look black!.  It is best to check out the various close-up clues from a specimen, using a x10 hand lens or under a microscope.