I have been recording numbers of bumblebees on timed walks at Hastings Country Park this summer, comparing numbers to Dungeness. Not surprisingly, given the different habitat, the responses of bumblebees to the spring drought have been totally different. For instance whilst at Dungeness the red tailed bumblebee Bombus lapidarius has been unusually scarce this summer at Hastings it has been abundant. Back in May both species were equally common on timed walks in pasture managed for bumblebees, however by this month there were three times as many females of this species at Hastings. Males (sporting an additional yellow band at the front of the thorax) can be seen at both sites now.
Numbers of the widespread bumblebee species have benefitted from some excellent Read the rest of this entry »