B.pascorum inclement weather.

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Anonymous (not verified)
B.pascorum inclement weather.

On1st May 2014 at approx 8am I came across what I believe to be four worker B.pascorum. They were static on seperate bluebell flowers; two each on separate stems a few inches apart. It had rained overnight and was still dank. All had damp fur and looked as if they had been out all night. The following day I returned & at 8.05am still cloudy at 10 degrees, found three of them still in situ seemingly unmoved, but this time their fur was dryer. On gently touching one it lazily stretched its back leg; I was relieved that it was ok. On 3rd May, same time but sunny & dry they had all moved on.

Do workers over-night outside?
Do they settle by pollen or nectar sources in inclement weather rather than risking a wet journey back to the nest?

location: SY8438681772 Moreton Forest Dorset

Nigel Jones
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Joined: 11/11/2011 - 20:07
Worker Bombus

I think that some times workers get stranded when temperatures drop, so they hunker down on a plant  and sleep. Your photos are of Bombus hypnorum.

 

Solitary bees do this too - most often males, which grip a plant leaf or stem with their mandibles and sleep (if that is indeed what bees do when they rest).

Fen D'Lucie (not verified)
hypnorum or pascorum?

Thanks Nigel. I think you are right, which makes me intregued as to how they communicate as a pack to all stop there together; fascinating.

re the comment 'hypnorum'. I believe my first identification to be correct. The top bee on the picture of the pair on my original comment, masks the pale yellow/cream of the back of the abdomen. Its closed wings make this area appear black but this was not the case. You can just see traces of the actual colouring at the side of the wings where the hind tibia joins the abdomen. Their dampness accentuated the dull appearance.
On returning this morning, the attached photos of a bee (taken seconds apart as it crawled around the flower) on the exact same flower as the previous days, are of better quality, (and a dry bee!) which are hopefully more convincing.

Nigel Jones
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Last seen: 4 hours 14 min ago
Joined: 11/11/2011 - 20:07
Ah yes, they are indeed B.

Ah yes, they are indeed B. pascuorum.

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