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A drookit bumble bee!


Following the heavy rain day before yesterday part of the garden is a little flooded. It has, I’m pleased to say, subsided today – so hopefully little damage has been done!

I found a bumble bee trying to dry itself off – I think its just a plain old red tailed bumble bee (bombus lapidarius). I had hoped that it may have been the rarer Red Shanked Carder Bee. The difference apparently is the hairs on the hind legs.
These bees usually nest under the surface of the ground so I have kind of concluded that the nest has been waterlogged. Nevertheless, I am pleased that bees are making my garden their home!

Bombus lapidarius Red tailed bumble bee
Very common on chalk downland. Also prevelant in gardens. Short tongued bee. Usually nests under the surface of the ground; Colonies often large. Distinguished from the much rarer Red Shanked Carder Bee by black hairs on hind legs.

Body sizes: Queen 20-22mm, Workers 11-16mm, male 14-16mm

From a distance…to show scale – the size of this flower head is about 1.5 inches (thats 38mm in new money!) Judging by the size, I wonder if it could be the queen. It was at least 1 inch long and definately not as small as the size given for a male or a worker but there is just a litle bit of beige showing in the side on pictures. So it could be either/or.

Look in to my eyes….

Thats better, I can see you now….

Difficult to see the hairs on the hind legs here – which was what made me think it was the rarer breed. You can also see where the sun is just beginning to dry out his soaking (drookit) wet hair.

The hairs are more apparent on the hind leg in this shot

You could almost tickle its tummy from here :))

I hope you enjoyed my bumble bee pictures. I should add that Drookit is a Scots word for soaking wet – not to be confused with Dreicht which means dull, dark, wet and miserable although Dreicht and Drookit just about describes our summer!!

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Poor thing!

Not easy ID'ing bees...Even the experts have trouble from photo's. I go to the Bumble bee conservation site, to try to figure them out but it all get too technical. That phone of yours is doing a great job Scottish.

6 Jul, 2012


Can't help with the ID Angie, but I REALLY want that phone! :/

6 Jul, 2012


Thanks, Scottish .. I enjoyed your bee photos, and I now have a new word in my vocabulary .. Drookit :o)

6 Jul, 2012


great shots scottish but sad to see mr Bee so wet and weary looking, isnt it awfull for wildlife.

6 Jul, 2012


Scottish you scared the life out of me," I know I`m a scaredy cat" lol, however I found the blog fascinating and your photography is very good.
Thankyou for explaining the words, somebody used it on a blog a few days ago and I was trying to puzzle it out at the time, pleased to say I wasn`t far out...

6 Jul, 2012


Poor bee, he does look rather bedraggled! You took some good photos of him though :)

6 Jul, 2012


Interesting to read the facts about the bee. I hope it was the rare type.
Interesting to see the Scottish words too :o)

6 Jul, 2012


THATS JUST FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6 Jul, 2012


What do you think Scottish ?

I think this may be our fella dried out.

6 Jul, 2012


Oh, the poor soaked bee! Don't you just wish you could hand it a tiny towel to help it along! Or that they could shake themselves like dogs to get rid of the wet! :o(

7 Jul, 2012


Great blog Angie. thanks for the link pimpernel.

7 Jul, 2012


Thanks all for liking my blog.
Lil....I can't believe you can't get that phone from your provider, here it is available on all networks.
P...I've had a look at those images, along with a few others. I think this is the one. I have a couple of photos from last year somewhere on a memory stick of the same kind. Size wise I'm almost convinced it must have been a queen - it was rather large compared to some of the other bees
If they were nesting in the garden - I fear for them - half of the garden has been under 6 inches of water for most of the day. It has subsided a little and it's supposed to be a bit drier tomorrow which will give it a chance to drain off!

7 Jul, 2012


I can buy the phone here Angie, but bc my carrier does not carry it, I would have to pay full retail price! If my carrier had it, would be much lower in cost if signing a term contract. Just as well, can't afford it either way.

7 Jul, 2012


Ooh it was a little strange seeing that close but i really enjoyed your blog! :o)

8 Jul, 2012


Thanks Scottish for pointing me to this blog which I had missed.Maybe this one.

10 Aug, 2012



25 Aug, 2012


thats amazing :) really is :) most wonderful captures and great information :) thank you for links i think i would have missed these otherwise (that would have been a shame). from jane.

25 Jun, 2013

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