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Author Topic: Tree Bumble Bee  (Read 5339 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Tree Bumble Bee
« on: June 02, 2019, 03:09:09 pm »
Today I found a queen tree bumble bee crawling across my kitchen floor, clearly cold and wet from a miserable Scottish day.  They have a ginger thorax, black abdomen, sometimes with ginger hairs, and a white tail - very easy to recognise.


 Tree bumble bees have been in the UK for only about 10 years, but are welcome as they are good pollinators and don't have an adverse effect on our resident bumbles.  They are spreading outwards from SE England, but there are not many in Scotland, NW and SW England so if you see one take a pic and post it here: www.opalexplorenature.org/treebumblebee
 I have taken my pic and will upload today!
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2019, 04:00:31 pm »
I'm not sure if that site is still active last sightings appear to be 2013 !

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2019, 05:37:27 pm »
I'm not sure if that site is still active last sightings appear to be 2013 !


Oh - eagle eyes!  I'll soon find out as my photo uploader has just come home.  I'll see if there's something more up to date.  Thanks RtB
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2019, 08:25:25 pm »
I saw tree bumblebee as far north as Montrose last summer, just one. This spring 4 queens! Iím not so keen, itís natural, not introduced, but I worry about competition with our other species as they seem to be more aggressive setting up nest sites, ousting others, and I had many reported stings from people with nest in their garden/house/shed/bird box/etc, when I was doing my phd. Itís strange seeing a new bee going about here which has never been here before. My friends in Stirling say theyíre one of the most common species now, having only appeared there a few years ago.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2019, 10:41:11 pm »
Got a bumble bees nest in a bird box  attached to the shaded side of one of our oak trees

 They seem similar to what you are describing Ö bung up a picture please & I'll take some pictures of ours .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2019, 08:20:48 am »
Picture from web, not my own.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 01:15:33 pm »
I saw tree bumblebee as far north as Montrose last summer, just one. This spring 4 queens! Iím not so keen, itís natural, not introduced, but I worry about competition with our other species as they seem to be more aggressive setting up nest sites, ousting others, and I had many reported stings from people with nest in their garden/house/shed/bird box/etc, when I was doing my phd. Itís strange seeing a new bee going about here which has never been here before. My friends in Stirling say theyíre one of the most common species now, having only appeared there a few years ago.


It is a worry with a new species, but flora and fauna are not static, they do move on (or sadly die out) as weather and climate or other conditions change to be less suitable for them.  New species or races will then fill the vacuum.  The tree bees seem to be a bit hardier than many already here, although the one I found was cold and miserable and didn't seem aggressive at all.  We need pollinators so maybe these will fill the gap. Perhaps they are less susceptible to the effects of nasty neurotoxins.   The first stage of research of course is collecting data, hence submitting sightings.  There is another site which last collected sightings in 2017 and I'm trying to contact them to see if they need data from this year.  The original site I posted happily accepted my data but whether it will be used or not I can't tell.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 12:17:36 am by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2019, 08:46:32 pm »
No pictures yet ..it's either pee'd down or been a very heavy fine sea drizzle for the last 48 hrs .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: either over-crowded or villages left half-empty.
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2019, 10:30:01 pm »
Thinking I might have seem some, last weekend here in Cornwall, while marvelling at the variety of bumbles attracted to a nearby cotoneaster while I was enjoying a cup of tea during some client gardening.

I've now educated myself on bumble bee markings and, indeed, it could well be, but I'll have to double-check at next visit.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2019, 12:24:07 am »
Thinking I might have seem some, last weekend here in Cornwall, while marvelling at the variety of bumbles attracted to a nearby cotoneaster while I was enjoying a cup of tea during some client gardening.

I've now educated myself on bumble bee markings and, indeed, it could well be, but I'll have to double-check at next visit.


I'm always amazed at how popular cotoneaster is with bees.  It has such insignificant flowers, but they love them.


We mostly seem to have only Carder Bees and Buff tailed Bumble Bees, and now the Tree Bumble Bee.  It's probably because I can't identify any others  ::)   Even bees of the same species come in various sizes and even colour patterns.  Then there are solitary bees - I don't have a hope of identifying them  :bee: :bee: :bee:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2019, 04:59:30 pm »
Finally got a dry weather spot to take a picture of the bee in the bid box and there is not a single bee going in or out .  Gave it a tickle in the entry hole with a longish bamboo cane ..nothing ..................it's as dead as a door nail.

 I'm wondering if it has starved out but has some dormant egg cells ready to hatch if it warms up .

 There aren't many flowers in bloom either  ..the garden looks quite sad & bald.
 Last year we had strawberries mid May .. We've got them in the tubs Ö.big green things , not a chance of them ripening at the minute if it stays at this 12 oC ish wet weather.
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2019, 11:57:24 pm »
Picture from web, not my own.
Is that a tree bumble bee? How exciting, watching LOTS of bees working the cotoneaster today, (maybe everybody out foraging following the cold wet weather) saw these and wondered what they were, thinking ginger cape and white bum  ;D
Saw some really big bees with white bums, now I'm off to find an I'D chart  :) .

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2019, 06:49:16 am »
Cloddopper, if you open up the best and photograph I can tell you what went on: there will be was cells of different sizes. Tree bumblebees havehave a very early life cycle which means they're done and finished by the time most other species are getting larger.
Tree bumblebee nests seem really attacked by wax moths (possibly because they're above ground without tunnels or disguise) but can get through their life cycle before the moths destroy the nest. My concern is that they will likely prove a source of increasing populations of wax moths which can go on to find other species of bees nests. 

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2019, 10:48:59 am »
Thanks for that . Being a former semi commercial beekeeper I understand what you've said . When I've got time I'll take the nest apart .. last year it was indeed eaten away by wax moths .
 
Being made of plastic scraps of soil pipe and an old kitchen chopping board it's easy to clean and kill off any wax moth eggs .

 There is a tremendous amount of dried spagnum type moss in the entrance , wondering if some bird had tried to use it for a second  clutch of eggs .

 Also found that great blue tits  are happy to stay close and pick off the bumble bees for lunch & feeding their chicks . Seems they have developed & passed on a way of catching the bumble bee & pulling it's sting out without getting stung themselves .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: either over-crowded or villages left half-empty.
Re: Tree Bumble Bee
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2019, 11:47:31 pm »
Yep, I can confirm I did previously spot Tree Bumbles in a client's garden in NE Cornwall:  I verified yesterday and there were very many buzzing around the garden.  I guess quite a sizeable nest or nests nearby.  (I seem to think they are pretty fast on the wing compared to many !?)

Very many other species spotted also, but I was concentrating on spotting Tree B's so I'm not really sure how many different species I might have seen.  Nice to see so many though.

 

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