anonymous spotter's picture

Crime Scene

Observed: 21st April 2011 By: anonymous spotter
Crime Scene

I admit it: I moved the bodies. But all were lying within about 0.5m in a small open area of woodland. Any ideas what dined on these bumblebees?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Buff-Tailed Bumble Bee (Bombus terrestris) interacts


Fenwickfield's picture

Should have watched

There was a programme on last night by Chris Packham,and it was about this exact subject.There are sadly a few culprits Squirrel's,birds,Badger's they dig them out or if a bird reach in to get them.There was an idea of how to help and that was hedge areas,overgrown area's and I have got a friend to make some Bumble Bee boxes.


JonathanWallace's picture

I am not sure it is

I am not sure it is necessrily 'sad' that bumble bees get predated by various bird and mammal species. Predation is part of the myriad interactions between different species that is ecology. Of much greater concern as far as bumble bees are concerned is the sterilisation of great swathes of countryside so that where there were once lots of nectar sources there are now great deserts of rye grass or wheat and barley with scarcely a wildflower in sight. Bees have evolved various adaptations to cope with predators but there's not much they can do in the face of the disappearance of their habitat.
Fortunately there are still places like Bishop Middleham Quarry which offer a diverse habitat for a variety of creatures and plants.

Jonathan Wallace

anonymous spotter's picture

Thanks -

for the comments. I missed Chris Packham's show - he is knowledgeable and usually very interesting, despite the image he sometimes presents on TV.
I agree with Jonathan's comments about ecological interactions, but I find that it is natural to "side" with the animal you are interested in at the time. And our bees do seem to need all the friends they can get these days.

rimo's picture

The other likely culprits are

The other likely culprits are Great Tits - they take the bees from flowers and peck the innards out, leaving the husks, as here

Record your ladybird sightings!

anonymous spotter's picture

There were certainly -

a lot of Great Tits around - sounds feasible: thanks!

the naturalist man's picture


I think I would err on the side of birds, probably great tits as mammals would not be so delicate in their dining!

Graham Banwell

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