Winter-active bumblebees (Maggie Frankum)
Joined in the BSBI VC55 New Year Plant Hunt today [29.12.2018]. Watched several Buff-tailed bumbles [Bombus terrestris] workers with pollen loads, foraging at a Lonicera purpusei [winter honeysuckle- lemon scented] bush, on verge near corner of Freeman's Common Road and Putney Road West, Leicester. There must be an active nest somewhere nearby. Weather dry and relatively mild.
Has anyone else seen activity like this?
Was pleased to see a buff-tailed bumble bee working around a flowering Mahonia in our Ashby garden in a similarly sunny period earlier this week.
Hi Melinda, Well spotted! Did your bumble worker have a pollen load? Mahonia is another good bumble-friendly shrub that gardeners should grow to help their local bumbles.
Keep watching! Nothing here in my own garden...........
Yes it was carrying pollen. We have several Mahonia and also 3 big plants of Daphne Jacqueline Postil coming into flower and some winter jasmine. All planted with insect nosh in mind. And to cheer us up in January!
There was a small, striped bumble bee on our winter honeysuckle in Cropston yesterday, despite the grey and wet weather. Unfortunately, it flew off before I had time to attempt an ID or note whether it was carrying pollen.
Well spotted. Keep watching in your garden, - she may return to forage on your winter honeysuckle.