Friday, 15 July 2016

Odd man out

I was looking though one of my hives the other day when I spotted a strange looking bee on one of the frames.

On closer inspection it turned out to be very strange - an Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum).  It had its head down in a cell, drinking nectar.  (For non-beekeepers the big-eyed bee in the foreground is a drone, a male honey bee.)

For well over a minute the honey bees took no notice of the bumblebee but eventually it was spotted by one of the guards.

After a quick check to make sure it was an intruder there was a fight and they fell to the floor of the hive.  I couldn't see if the bumblebee got out alive.

It is something I haven't seen before as foreign bees usually can't get past security at the entrance.

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