The First Bumblebee of Spring
Posted on April 17, 2016 Posted by John Scalzi 13 Comments
The crab apple blossoms this year are a little on the underwhelming side, due to a late freeze killing a fair number of them, but there’s enough for this bumblebee to work with, and she’s working on them indeed, in the late afternoon sun.
Hope your weekend was a good one.
That photo is a bit busy. It took me a few moments to find the Bumblebee…
I first misread it as “the first bumblebee of STING”.
They just want you to think its a simple bumblebee… remain ignorant, simple Earthling!
John, did you call her “she” because that’s a queen? I thought (bumble)bees sent out male drones to get the nectar/pollen.
I had a beekeeper collect a new next from the wood-chippings on the side of the street, strangely enough.
Stop copying me, Scalzi. It’s not cool.
Yes, a bit busy. Thought I was looking for Waldo for a second! Nice color!
Beautiful photo, sir – those colors are amazing. The trees in our neck of the woods aren’t quite that far along, though if we have more upper-70s days like this weekend, they’ll be blooming in no time.
Good weekend here, thanks, and I hope yours was fine as well.
Haven’t seen another comment, but no, all honeybee workers are female, sisters in fact, daughters of the queen. Drones are useful for only one thing, mating with the new queens when the old one is dying or the hive splits and swarms to find a new home. Like ants, same arrangements, although a bee queen has less chemical control over her hive than an ant queen.
This is a great shot, with its rich hues and crisp detail. The lives and social structures of bees fascinate me endlessly. I seem to recall a butt-wiggling dance “language” to convey where potent nectar can be found, but it’s been years since I saw whatever program that was.
Lynn, to add to your comment: bumble bees aren’t honey bees.
We get carpenter bees mostly instead of bumble bees. They are hilarious as they try to assert dominance over anything that hovers 5 or 6 feet in the air, like an adult human head. They go around menacing squirrels on low roofs, perched birds and ambulatory humans, but only in staring contests, they don’t actually attack.
Been short on Bumblebees here too. Usually they are all over the willow catkins on the trees, to the point in some years that the tree which should look bright yellow-gold because of the catkins has looked black due to the volume of bees. The catkins, this year, have come and gone and there has been a desultory handful of bees; maybe not even a handful. We had a bad summer last year with few opportunities for bees to feed, followed with a very long and wet winter which no doubt caused a fair bit of bee mortality too. I’m hoping for a good summer and spring this year though, I’ve planted a lot of bee forage plants in order to help them out. We need our buzzy-bizzy friends.
I cannot contemplate bumble bees without recalling the old cartoon in which a buzzard is bringing home a baby bumble bee and singing about it.