Today (19th January 2016) I saw my first female Podalonia hirsuta basking on a sunny exposure. It's not unprecedented to see them in January - they have been recorded in every month of the year in Dorset - but this is my earliest record by four days.
This was a female making an early excursion from hibernation (males don't hibernate and won't appear until the summer) and she was taking full advantage of warm sunshine and a south-facing exposure. This was despite it having been the coldest night of the winter so far and there being frost all around and a thin layer of ice on the puddles.
A queen Bombus hypnorum was seen at midday on Sunday 10 January 2016 at Windsor Great Park. She was warming up in bright sunshine on the leaves of a Camellia japonica. This was a beautiful clean queen with bright "standard colouration" of ginger, black and white on thorax and abdomen. She was resting in the sunshine for at least 5 minutes. The air was cool (about 7C). This is the earliest date in the year that I have seen an emerging B.hypnorum queen by nearly a month. The earliest date in previous years was 9 February 2008.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust announces an intermediate course to look at all the identification of all the UK bumblebee species, and a detailed description of their ecology, life cycle and anatomy. Attendees will be assumed to be able to identify competently the "Big Seven"
The course costs £10 per head (includes tea and coffee) and run from 10.30 - 15.00
A Bombus hypnorum worker was seen on 30 and 31 Dec 2015 at Yateley, Hampshire. This is the first time that I have been aware of evidence of a winter nest of B.hypnorum in the UK.
The autumn and early winter have been exceptionally mild and I have seen bumblebees on 58 out of the last 62 days.
On 30 Nov I saw a B.hypnorum queen collecting pollen and nectar on Lonicera fragrantissima on three separate occasions during the day at Yateley, Hants. On the next day, 01 Dec and on 03 Dec she was again seen collecting pollen.
I'm a undergraduate studying Wildlife Biology, and I'm currently looking for opportunities to do a 9 month + placement next academic year.
I am interested in insect ecology.
I was wondering whether any one knew of any opportunities suitable for me to get involved in.
I'm based in Manchester.
Any information would be very helpful.
I can provide more information and a CV is needed.
A superbly illustrated key to the Chrysididae of the Nordic and Baltic countries (in English) is available as a free download. It should provide a very useful aid to identifying wasps in the family Chrysididae. The key includes all the British mainland species apart from Chrysis rutiliventris* . It can be downloaded here
* C. vanlithi - treated as a subspecies of C. rutiliventris by some authors - is included in the key.
At least 2 Buff-tailed Bumble Bees, Bombus terrestris - (workers) seen in my garden today 3rd December, foraging on a blooming heather. - Not a cold day but no sun. postcode BR4 0HW (SE London-Kent) - Id confirmed from my photos by Josh Nelson on Facebook.