Bee Careful

A queen black and gold bumble bee collecting pollen from a false gromwell flower in the garden in Jester Park, Iowa, June 18, 2018.

“Be careful!” she buzzed as she flew around me on her way to the flowers on the hill.

At over an inch long, she was the largest and noisiest bumble bee I had ever seen. I kept a respectful distance while watching her collect pollen from the false gromwell flowers.

I searched the bumble bee field guide: Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide by Paul Williams, et al., for her identity. She was a queen black and gold bumble bee.

According to the maps in the field guide, there are 10 bumble bee species that call this area home. Three more bumble bee species might be residents.

A queen black and gold bumble bee collecting pollen from false gromwell flowers in the garden in Jester Park, Iowa, June 18, 2018.

A queen black and gold bumble bee collecting pollen from a false gromwell flower in the garden in Jester Park, Iowa, June 18, 2018.

A queen black and gold bumble bee collecting pollen from a false gromwell flower in the garden in Jester Park, Iowa, June 18, 2018.

A queen black and gold bumble bee collecting pollen from a false gromwell flower in the garden in Jester Park, Iowa, June 18, 2018.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

 

About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
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24 Responses to Bee Careful

  1. Shady_Grady says:

    I will leave all bees, hornets, wasps and other six legged flying critters to you.
    Good pictures though. πŸ™‚
    One of my parents was allergic to bee stings. I don’t think I am but I don’t care to find out either. πŸ™‚

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! My sister is allergic to bees. She said that she found the photos a bit creepy. After this post, it is back to flowers, birds, butterflies, trees, and some other things I’ve thought of. πŸ™‚

      I did find it interesting to read the introductory material in the bee field guide. I didn’t realize that there were so many species of bumble bees.

  2. PHENOMENAL pictures and video, Sarah. I can so appreciate how you managed to capture a bee as you did. I applaud your efforts! Amazing job, just amazing!! Thank you for sharing this!!! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Amy πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed seeing the bumble bee. πŸ™‚ She was showing off for the camera. πŸ™‚

      I avoid wasps and hornets because they can be aggressive. I have noticed that the bumble bees, on the other hand, treat me like just another obstacle on their way from one flower to another. I used the bird lens to photograph her so I was plenty far away. It was interesting to read the introductory material in the bumble bee field guide. I didn’t realize there were so many bumble bee species world wide, in this country, or in this area. The one I see the most is the eastern bumble bee. I don’t recall seeing this one before. I saw what I think was a brown-belted bumble bee on the milkweed flowers earlier in June, but I didn’t end up with any photos of that bee. A few of the species look a lot like the eastern bumble bee so I might have seen them and not realized it.

  3. Michelle says:

    Beautiful pictures!!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you liked seeing the bumble bee. πŸ™‚ She was bright and photogenic that day. πŸ™‚

  4. zirah1 says:

    Didn’t realize there were so many varieties of bumblebees. Will have to pay more attention to the ones around here and see if they are all the same or different. Came across this earlier today….so fascinating……https://www.facebook.com/DeepLookPBS/videos/854608094723771/?fref=mentions

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Zirah πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! Thank you for the link. πŸ™‚ They talked about the bumble bees vibrating the flowers to get the pollen out in the introductory material in the bumble field guide. It is fascinating. πŸ™‚

      I had a bumble bee education this last weekend. πŸ™‚ I knew when I saw the bumble bee in these photos that I hadn’t seen her before. I tried looking her up on the web and found the bumble bee field guide and purchased the Kindle version so I could look in it right away. Hours later…. πŸ™‚ I read the introductory material and then looked at the photos and the maps to make a list of the bees in this area. According to the field guide, there are 46 species of bumble bees in North America north of Mexico. They have a general map in the introduction which shows the number of bumble bee species in the various areas. It looks like there are either 6-10 or 11-15 species in your area. I am interested to hear which bumble bees you see. πŸ™‚ Some of them look a lot alike and others have distinguishing features like the one in the photos here. I knew I hadn’t seen a bumble bee with the two gold/yellow bands before and she was very large.

      Another interesting thing I learned is that there are cuckoo bumble bees. They lay their eggs in the nests of the regular bumble bees and the regular bumble bees feed the eggs along with their own. The regular bumble bees have queen bees, male bees, and worker bees. The cuckoo bumble bees only have queens and males since they don’t contribute pollen to the nest which is the job of the worker bees.

  5. Stunning pictures!!!!

  6. Oh she does look very grand and golden. Haven’t seen those on a European list. Beautiful photos as ever!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you liked seeing the bumble bee. πŸ™‚ She was showing off for the camera. I was thinking about your story when I spent a few hours on the weekend before this post reading all about bumble bees and the varieties in the area. πŸ™‚

      • Thanks, Sarah, yes another friend also thinks about my character when she sees bumblebees! I am still sending off to publishers and hope I have also found an agent who will give me good feedback. I will persevere and your comments have helped me too. It’s been a very busy year, with baby Olivia to be around, house hunting for a smaller place nearby and for us to return to in U.K. But hopefully we can also continue to enjoy our Spanish woodlan

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