Sunday, June 17, 2012

Male Bumblebee on Lambs Ear

A bumblebee ready for pollination. I spent a lot of Father's Day photographing this one bee on the lambs ear in my grandfather's garden. It was being unusually cooperative so I took as many pictures as I could, only to find out that it was in fact a male. 

This is a male Bombus bimaculatus, and you can ID it as a male from the straighter than normal antenna, and yellow hairs under the body as well the scruff on the mandible area. Though I'm told that male bumblebees often look just like the females so don't go petting them all or grabbing them just yet. 

The Lambs Ear was otherwise swarming with bumblebees. This one male though was taking his time to rest about and sipping at flowers at his own leisure. As the sun went down he finally took off, probably to spend the night somewhere. Once they leave the hive they leave for good. Rather than being a burden on the resources they go it alone and feed on flowers until new queens of their species emerge from hives to mate with.