The tree bumblebee
For the past few days I’ve been watching bees take it in turn going in and out of a cavity wall underneath a window sill (plastic type) on our old cottage. The photos were taken with flash and are not fantastic by any means but I was pleased with what I got. The bees were fascinating – queuing up to get in. The other side of the wall is the bedroom but neither me nor OH have been able to hear anything from that side, fortunately!
I identified the type as B. hypnorum, the Tree Bumblebee – quite a coincidence as this bee has been mentioned several times recently on the site. I wanted confirmation and sent the pics to the Lincolnshire Bee, Ant and Wasp recorder.
This is what he wrote:
Yes, they are Bombus hypnorum, the Tree Bee. They build their nests in abandoned bird nests and got their misleading English name from an early observation of their nesting in old bird nests in tree cavities. Unlike most bumblebees which fly straight into and straight out of their nests, making them usually difficult to find, B. hypnorum workers hover about outside and make their presence known. They have the reputation of being the most aggressive of our bumblebees, so don’t expect any builders to work anywhere near them and best tell your window cleaner as well. The nest will be active for about 6 – 8 weeks.
And I now know not to clean the windows until about the end of July! At that point, I buzzed off myself!