Mega-bee

With the huge variety of wildflowers on which to forage in the garden, bumblebees still prefer the scarlet beebalm for an early morning drink of nectar.  In the past few days, some huge individuals of what I think are the Common Eastern Bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) have been working the beebalm.  Perhaps these are new queens, stocking up on nectar in preparation for starting another colony.

Common Eastern Bumblebee on scarlet beebalm

Her weight pulls the flower tube almost vertical and that long tongue laps up the nectar.

Worker bumblebee

A worker bumblebee (note full pollen baskets) is about 1/3 the size of the one in the previous photograph, judging from their body length compared to that of the flowers.

Common Eastern Bumblebee at rest on the underside of a leaf

Even bumblebees have to take a rest now and then, perhaps to digest all that nectar they have imbibed. After 15 minutes of intensive foraging, she landed on a leaf, and then crawled under it.

 

2 thoughts on “Mega-bee

    • I am just starting to see more of these mega-bees around, and wonder if they are in fact queens that are about to start new colonies. I don’t think they come out to forage oncer they start laying eggs.

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