Monday, April 21, 2008

A CHICAGO BUMBLE BEE IN APRIL

Well, I knew that it was a bumble bee as it was buzzzing [vibrating flight mucles to warm up body to get airborne at low temperatures]. It was loud enough to hear through the window left open early this morning to catch a spring breeze. In the above picture, if you click to enlarge you will see the pollen grains caught on body hairs.

The first band on the abdomen though partially blocked from view is yellow in all three pictures. There is a black circle on the backside center.

Black fuzzy pile covers the rest of the abdominal bands.
I'm thinking this is an awakened overwintered Queen bombus impatien collecting nectar and pollen until the first worker bees are old enough to take over. Then she will mostly remain in the nest laying eggs. Maybe she spent the winter somewhere here in the garden. I would like to think so.

Check out Beespotter where bumble bee and honey bee sightings in Illinois can be recorded. You enter location, pictures and a guess at species (there are pictures and drawings to help) although an expert will verify and let you know.


BEE PHOTOS AT UIUC

Read...

save garden bumble bees pdf

bumble bees pdf

2 Comments:

Anonymous mon@rch said...

It is wonderful seeing bumblebees in April . . . must be summer!

27/4/08 1:44 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Hi Tom, every year the bumble Queens (impatien I think) start to appear here in spring. From last year I have an unclear picture taken in late March. Only one so far as I can tell this year. It was cold late and is again with rain. I hope she and her brood make it.

28/4/08 4:54 PM  

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