30th March 2015

Tree Bumblebees are one of the earliest species to be about in spring and are, thankfully, pretty easy to identify, unlike many Bees. They only arrived from mainland Europe in 2001 but now inhabit most of England and Wales. The Queens, which are out feeding and searching for nest-sites now, vary in size but like the later drones, which are usually smaller, they have reddish to tawny brown thoraxes, black middles and always have a white tail, although the amount of white varies. The Queens look for nesting sites well above ground level and it is not uncommon to find one choosing a bird-box with a nest in it, as we had a few years ago. They can drive the Blue or

Tree Bumblebee Queen sets off for another flower

Tree Bumblebee Queen sets off for another flower

Tree Bumblebee enjoying feeding from the beautifully citrus-scented Winter Honeysuckle

Tree Bumblebee enjoying feeding from the beautifully citrus-scented Winter Honeysuckle

Great Tits out! They are very good pollinators so very welcome in the garden. Conditions: Sunny morning followed by wet afternoon and evening. Temperature: Max 9- Min 6c.

A queen Tree Bumblebee in the garden today

A queen Tree Bumblebee in the garden today

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