Thursday, 31 May 2012

Home Patch (16): Bees and Hoverflies on the Ceanothus

I stood by the Ceanothus for a few minutes, taking pictures of the flying insects that landed on it. There were more species than the ones shown below, but a number of insects - notably the hoverflies - were too fast for me.

I think the photos immediately above and below show a visitation from a Honey Bee, Apis Mellifera.
I wonder whether you knew that Bumblebees, like the one above, used to be known as Humblebees ... this was news to me.
The creature above is a Hoverfly. Unlike bees and wasps, it only has one pair of wings, and so is a true fly. This one has proved difficult to identify: Britain boasts some 270 known species. I suspect this is a female, because in males the eyes are close together, and you can make out a gap (with wide Vertex) in the photo above.

I am wondering whether the bee in the photos immediately above and below is Bombus hypnorum. It certainly has the foxy-red thorax, black abdomen and white tail. I have included the photo above to show the tail. It was a highly active insect and had no wish to pose for the camera! You can see from the yellow sac just how much pollen was being collected. I don't think it was stripy enough for a Carder Bee.

Above: a Honey Bee, full frontal, hard at work ...
Below: the Honey Bee, end on!


Andrea said...

Hi Caroline, i like the bees and the insects, but i love the flower because that color is not common in the tropics. I observed that most of the blues and dark violets are common in temperate climes, while we have most of the orange and reds! Are you an entomologist Caroline?

Caroline Gill said...

I love a rainbow of colour, Andrea! Blue, though, is my favourite, followed by red. No, I'm not an entomologist (I'm a poet, with a particular interest in eco-poetry in all its guises). I am a keen amateur observer of wildlife. The blog helps me learn so much more as I connect with others. However, I did catalogue the fascinating papers of an entomologist many years ago, so perhaps this has something to do with it!

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely bees and hoverflies, Caroline! I'm trying to improve my bee id skills!

Nature Rambles said...

I agree with Andrea about the colour of the blossoms. Not common in the tropics. You got some beautiful shots, Caroline!