Some Early Spring Bees

As the spring progresses we can look forward to seeing more insects on the wing on warm sunny days, though we are a tad short of these at present! This article describes some of the first bees to appear in spring. The next will feature spring butterflies.

In mild winters the first bumblebees may be seen as early as late February but in most years the majority of queens that have hibernated during the winter emerges in March and April. The Buff-tailed Bumblebee (above) and the Large Red-tailed Bumblebee are two species that are the earliest to emerge and both may be seen on the allotments now. The Buff-tailed Bumblebee has dull yellow bands across the middle of the body (on the front of the thorax and abdomen) and a buff tip to the tail. The Large Red-tailed Bumblebee queen has a black body apart from the last few segments of the body that are red, hence the name. Continue reading Some Early Spring Bees