Wordless Wednesday – Phacelia tanacetifolia and a female Tree Bumblebee

Phacelia tanacetifolia and female worker bee - is this a tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) ?

Phacelia tanacetifolia and female worker bee – is this a tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) ?

Thursday 12th June Postscript. I sent a copy of this picture to the Bumblebee conservation trust who identified this bee as a Tree Bumblebee and also gave me the details of BWARS – Bees, Wasps, Ants Recording Society, who are running a Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum mapping project. This bee originated in France and BWARS are recording the spread throughout the UK.







13 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday – Phacelia tanacetifolia and a female Tree Bumblebee

  1. Great photo!
    I hope it’s a good sign: we now have many bees on our property. At first it was mostly a lot of bumble bees – so plentiful and big, I stopped to ask one if it had eaten all the regular bees for lunch. But now I see bees in my various garden beds and I am very happy. They really are ‘busy bees’.

  2. We have had so many bumble bees the last couple of years. There are two nests in the eaves of our house. I’ m not sure what kind they are, I hope that they are not carpenter bees.

    • I find identifying bees quite tricky so I sent a copy of this photograph to the bumblebee conservation trust and they tell me it is a Tree bumblebee. They have an online guide too on their website, which gave me a few clues. Maybe a photo of your bees to the Bee conservation people would help. There is also an app, launched yesterday, by friends of the earth (I think) – (I am waiting for one of my student daughters to help me upload / download with this) to help with identification.

    • Coincidentally, I bought some seed of Phacelia campanularia, last week, which maybe the Phacelia you have, as the blurb says its a wild flower of California. Apparently its widely used on farms and organic vineyards to attract beneficial insects. It might be too that tanacetifolia the one I have, is a tougher Phacelia. I don’t know, I’ll let you know. I hope yours does flower though. 🙂

    • Apparently all worker bees are female. There is a fantastic site, the Bumblebee conservation trust you can google, which gives lots of helpful identification tips and lots of information on bees. As that bee was working, collecting pollen, I knew it was a female. Under the tab, lifecycle, the site goes onto explain the male bees are born later in the year and do not collect pollen, side by side though I do not know how to tell them apart!

    • I can’t identify them but badly want to learn more. It was a complete fluke that I took this photo in the first place, I had been trying to photograph self sown poppies and kneeling in the grass started to watch the bees on the Phacelia, I sent a copy of this photo to the Bee conservation trust to confirm the identity and just by chance it was particularly interesting. Apart from meeting some very nice people on wordpress, getting your facts right is proving to be a great way to learn.

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