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Country diary: the bumblebees' low drone has replaced the hum of traffic

08.05.2020
Příroda
Marshwood Vale, Dorset: It began in March, when the buff-tailed queens emerged from hibernation, zigzagging from bloom to bloomIn the garden on a bright morning, with sunshine lancing the cherry blossom, my eye is drawn to the fat glitter of a queen bumblebee gathering nectar in the golden bowl of a tree peony flower. A black, almost velvety, body and rich orange-tipped rump indicate that this is a red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius). Her wings shine as if newly waxed, while her tongue briskly probes a tassel of stamens. After a few seconds she's off to check the next bloom - then airborne again, zooming over the wall.Lockdown has replaced the background hum of distant traffic with the low, blundering drone of bumblebees. It began in March when buff-tailed queens emerged from hibernation, zigzagging across the lawn. Buff-tails are easily recognised by their size - the queens can be more than 2cm long - and their markings, two well-separated yellow bands and a brown-tinged tail-tip. Because they nest in holes in the ground, they are also called earth bumblebees (Bombus terrestris). The name is like an anchor, tethering a creature of sunlight, pollen and warmth to the chthonic darkness underground. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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