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Bombus vestalis addicted to Giant Scabious

Observed: 10th June 2011 By: Martin Harvey
Berkshire Moth GroupFSC - Field Studies CouncilSoldierflies and Allies Recording SchemeBuckinghamshire Invertebrate Group
Invertebrates expert
Bombus vestalis - Great Kimble-1
Bombus vestalis - Great Kimble
Bombus vestalis - Great Kimble-3
Description:

The plant here is Giant Scabious, Cephalaria gigantea, and each year it seems attracts hordes of cuckoo bumblebees. Each time I've checked the bees they have been Bombus vestalis males. Other bumblebees also visit from time to time, but the male vestalis seem to become permanent residents on the flowers - there were over 30 of them at the time I took this picture. Why are they so addicted to this flower? Is it normal to have so many cuckoo bee males lounging about, or does this imply that local populations of bumblebees are suffering particularly badly from cuckoos?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.