Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Tree Bees

I found a very unusual looking bee today visiting the thornless blackberry that grows at the back of our garden.
This bee is a Tree Bee Bombus hypnorum. The Tree Bee was first reported in the UK in the summer of 2001 from a specimen found on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border.

I saw a maximum of two tree bees at one time, but there was likely to be more as one returned to the nest and another bee returned.
This bee is often associated with parks and gardens. regularly establishes colonies in cavities above ground, and this includes roof spaces, holes in trees and in bird nest boxes. There is a big apple tree in the garden behind ours and the area around it has been left to become overgrown.
It is mainly an early season species. The queens emerge from hibernation in February or early March, and workers are active throughout the early spring. The species is at its most obvious in late May and June, when the colonies are producing males. A partial second brood is sometimes active in

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