A queen Bombus hypnorum was seen at midday on Sunday 10 January 2016 at Windsor Great Park. She was warming up in bright sunshine on the leaves of a Camellia japonica. This was a beautiful clean queen with bright "standard colouration" of ginger, black and white on thorax and abdomen. She was resting in the sunshine for at least 5 minutes. The air was cool (about 7C). This is the earliest date in the year that I have seen an emerging B.hypnorum queen by nearly a month. The earliest date in previous years was 9 February 2008.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust announces an intermediate course to look at all the identification of all the UK bumblebee species, and a detailed description of their ecology, life cycle and anatomy. Attendees will be assumed to be able to identify competently the "Big Seven"
The course costs £10 per head (includes tea and coffee) and run from 10.30 - 15.00
A Bombus hypnorum worker was seen on 30 and 31 Dec 2015 at Yateley, Hampshire. This is the first time that I have been aware of evidence of a winter nest of B.hypnorum in the UK.
The autumn and early winter have been exceptionally mild and I have seen bumblebees on 58 out of the last 62 days.
On 30 Nov I saw a B.hypnorum queen collecting pollen and nectar on Lonicera fragrantissima on three separate occasions during the day at Yateley, Hants. On the next day, 01 Dec and on 03 Dec she was again seen collecting pollen.
I'm a undergraduate studying Wildlife Biology, and I'm currently looking for opportunities to do a 9 month + placement next academic year.
I am interested in insect ecology.
I was wondering whether any one knew of any opportunities suitable for me to get involved in.
I'm based in Manchester.
Any information would be very helpful.
I can provide more information and a CV is needed.
A superbly illustrated key to the Chrysididae of the Nordic and Baltic countries (in English) is available as a free download. It should provide a very useful aid to identifying wasps in the family Chrysididae. The key includes all the British mainland species apart from Chrysis rutiliventris* . It can be downloaded here
* C. vanlithi - treated as a subspecies of C. rutiliventris by some authors - is included in the key.
At least 2 Buff-tailed Bumble Bees, Bombus terrestris - (workers) seen in my garden today 3rd December, foraging on a blooming heather. - Not a cold day but no sun. postcode BR4 0HW (SE London-Kent) - Id confirmed from my photos by Josh Nelson on Facebook.
In the British Isles this large bee is restricted to the Channel Islands where it has long been known from Guernsey, Jersey and Sark. There it is apparently very local and rarely common.
The species has a Western Palaearctic distribution, ranging from the Netherlands to Iberia, east to Greece, Turkey, Iraq and Iran; it also occurs in North Africa (Morocco) (Ebmer, 1988; Ascher & Pickering, 2012).
Status (in Britain only):
The Channel Islands are, for a number of reasons, excluded from the geographical coverage of the British Red Data book (Shirt, 1987) and the subsequent review (Falk, 1991).
This Honey Bee-sized Halictus is easily distinguished by the ring-like bands on the tergites. These comprise an anterior and posterior buff band on tergites 2-4 of the females and just a whitish posterior band on segments 2-6 of the very elongate males. The male hind tibiae is almost entirely yellow without the dark marks of species like H. eurygnathus or H. quadricinctus.
The bee is widely distributed in Guernsey where it is generally confined to sandy soils supporting thistles (the late C David, pers. comm.).
Few dates are available for the Channel Islands. A female was collected there in mid-June and males in late July and mid-September.
Widely polylectic, foraging from flowers in the families Convolvulaceae, Dipsacaceae and Asteraceae (Westrich, 1989).
In the Channel Islands, C David (pers. comm.) found nests in sandy situations, sometimes at the back of a beach and usually in flat soil. In mainland Europe, in favourable conditions, it nests in large aggregations. This is a eusocial species, over-wintered reproductive females rearing more than one generation in a season, with a distinct worker caste. Unusually, several gynes generally establish a nest instead of one individual working alone. Only one of these females develops ovaries and lays eggs; the others act as workers. Eventually the egg-layer drives the workers away before the brood of new bees is reared. These outcasts are then capable of nesting independently or usurp unguarded nests of their own species or those of other halictine bees (Knerer & Plateaux-Quénu, 1967).
Hogweed, wild carrot, a burdock, spear thistle, common knapweed, cat’s-ear and a hawk’s-beard.
I live in Austria where we are currently approaching winter with temperatures around 5C currently. 2 days ago I found what I identified as a Blue Carpenter Bee, which I understand from my research is an endangered species in Europe. See attached photo.
I found it on our lawn hardly moving, but suspecting that it may only be cold not dying, I brought it inside to warm up. It is definitely alive but I think it was trying to find a hiberation spot.
How can I keep it alive and help it hibernate?
My internet research has not produced any help on this topic.