Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Bee Blogging

The more I look at bumblebees the more apparently different species I find. Amazing! Below are three more I've managed to get photos of recently.

Bumblebee on raspberry flowers last week

Bumblebee on Rosa rugosa alba today--they love this rose!

Bumblebee on the wild bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia).

I think the last one is the same species as a couple that turned up in the house earlier in the season. Big, biggest of the three, all yellow back, noisy, scary. I've been trying to get a picture of one of these bees for days. Couldn't get a good shot of the back, but am publishing anyway!

And preparing to board the Friday Ark. Drop by to see who else made it on board.


burning silo said...

Pamela - These are comments relating to both of your bumblebee posts. You had mentioned wondering about "malar space" in a bee. Here's a link to a small .pdf file with definitions of words related to bees. The malar space is defined as the shortest distance between the base of the mandible and the margin of the compound eye often completely absent in bees. Also, you may have seen this, but I did a post about red-tailed bees and bee identification a few weeks ago. Here's the link. Those two shots show pretty good angles for photographing bees for identificatin -- although with bumblebees, you usually have to take what you can get as they move around so much and so quickly. Anyhow, on my post, there's this link to the Discover Life Bee Identification Guide. It actually works quite well and will help to narrow down species. Even if you don't use the illustrated key, you can check only on the "Ontario" box and do a search to get species most likely to be seen in Ontario. You can then click on each species to see photos of each of them -- usually several shots of queens, workers, etc.. Based on your photo, I suspect that last bee is a Bombus fervidus. Here are photos on that species page. I'm not sure of the top two photos. Anyhow, it's fun to spend time observing these bees more closely, isn't it?

Pamela Martin said...

Thanks for the links, Bev. I can see that the Discover Life identification key will be very useful. The pictures of dead bees though take a little getting used to.

I am enjoying noticing all the different bees, and may get better at getting photos for identification, though as you say, they don't often pose nicely. And I am nervous about getting too much in the face of a bumblebee--though I haven't run into one feeding that seemed in the least agressive. Disturbed at a nest is a different story--at least the sound they make is plenty angry.

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