On the 17th of June we held a bumblebee identification event, this time in the field. Andrew Nixon, of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, began by teaching us about the fascinating life cycle of bumblebees. The first bees you are likely to see are the Queen bees, emerging from hibernation and searching for a place to start a new nest. By June, female workers are out as well, collecting nectar to feed the Queen’s offspring.
The 7 most common bumblebees can all be found in Herefordshire, but look out for some rarer visitors as well, including the Brown Banded Carder Bee.
Andrew also demonstrated the best way to catch a bee using a net and transfer it to a pot for identification. Although harder than he made it look, everyone was able to practice along the species-rich ley and meadow at the site and successfully caught several species including red and white-tailed bumblebees.