A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Bumble Bees En Mass

At work over the last few days I have seen many Bumble Bees on the bushes around the building. I'm not sure what kind of bush it is but it stretches for 10 plus metres on one side of the building and even more at the other side. The Bees I saw were mainly big black and yellow Bumble Bees and brown Bumble Bees; there were also a few Honey Bees knocking about but not as many. Intrigued at what kind of Bumble Bees they were I did a quick google search for Bumble Bee identification and came across the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust or BBCT. Using the guide found at this link, I believe the Bumble's that I was seeing were mainly Common Carder Bee, or Bombus Pascuorum and the Garden Bumble Bee, or Bombus Hortorum. The vast majority of them were the Carder Bee and I believe there were several queens; I thought this due to the size of them and the presence of a few much smaller ones but with the same colour.

Since finding BBCT's site I have become a member which costs £16 per year. I'm looking forward to getting my welcome pack. The welcome pack includes a chart for identifying Bumble Bees, a pin badge, a car sticker and a packet of Bee friendly seeds, along with a newsletter. If anyone fancies joining or more info on Bumble's then the link is here.

The BBCT site also gives a helpful guide on what flowers to plant to help Bees. This is a breakdown of the list and I have (painstakingly) added wikipedia links to all the different plants mentioned in the guide

This is a picture of the bush that they were feasting on. It was taken on my phone so isn't very good quality and I didn't even try to take any pictures of the Bees (mainly because I'd have had to get very close and would have looked a fool if anyone looked out of the window at work and also they were too busy and moving about a lot). I have done a bit of research on google and believe this bush is a species of cotoneaster or pyracantha although I could be completely wrong. At some point I may try to get a cutting for my own garden.