I am blessed with good neighbours either side of our house. They let me do odd things like crawl over their lawn counting stinking hawk’s-beards. I was doing that today when I had two surprises.
A heath bumblebee Bombus jonellus. This is one of our smallest bumbles and I last recorded it in our garden in 2007. To be honest it was so long ago that I was starting to doubt the identification. This species is superficially similar to the small garden bumblebee (but much smaller, and with a short face). But there it was, an exquisite little 2nd generation worker about 10 mm long, feeding on a white clover flower, and unmistakeable. This lawn is usually mown short, but had a covering of white clover flowers held close to the ground. Now our lawn is managed to produce flowers (they stand tall and proud and scream out Pollen and Nectar), and are inspected daily for bees, but have I seen any there this year? Eventually I did disturb it and it flew off over our garden - my 10th* bumblebee species for the year in the garden, then I had surprise 2
So attentively had I been Read the rest of this entry »