gramandy's picture

Bumblebee

Observed: 21st July 2012 By: gramandy
Kent Wildlife TrustThanet Coast ProjectWildwood Trust
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Bumblebee
Description:

Another species of bumblebee. Again nearest ID fouind in BWARS

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Bombus (Pyrobombus) pratorum interacts

Comments

gramandy's picture

Matt..

...this looks so different to the other postings but you are obviously convinced they are all the same species. Do you normally get this amount of variation within species? How does a beginner like me tell a black bee from a yellow bee?

Matt Smith's picture

Variation

Bombus pratorum is one of the species where males and females have different colour patterns, males have much more yellow than females.

Between females, colours can vary somewhat between queens and workers and workers can often be found either without or with a greatly reduced yellow band on at the base of the abdomen.

Without meaning to sound condecending, the best way to learn to ID the species is to keep at it - I have been doing it for a fairly long time now. The more you see the greater understanding of the "jiz" of a species you gain. Looking at specimens close up also helps, either your own or in a museum collection - helps you get a feel for the variation within a species.

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