Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A pair of tattered yellow fuzzies.

It's been raining off and on, and we have been staying indoors. It's a good time to work on photos, sorting, deleting, and posting.

These are from the beginning of last month:

Bumblebee on a wilting yellow aster.

It's not apparent in the first photo, but this bee has had a rough life. Look at her wings:

Something has clipped the tips off. And look again; she's carrying the tattered remnants of a spider web.

But the work must go on; there's pollen to gather, and no time to waste!


  1. Wouldn't that be a "she", aren't worker bees all female?

  2. Yes, of course! What was I thinking? Thanks, Paul.

  3. No they aren't! There is ONE queen, and the drones, the worker male bees, are at her command!

    Wonderful shots.

  4. Sorting this out:

    From, "there are three kinds of bumble bee, the large Queen, the smaller imperfectly formed female worker bee and the tiny male or drone bee. All are seen at different times of year."

    The Xerxes Society ( "There are three different types of bumble bees you will encounter: workers, queens, and males. Both queens and workers are female."

    Wikipedia ( "Non-fertilised eggs grow into males, and only fertilised eggs grow into females and queens. ...
    The hormones ... are suppressed in the other female worker bees while the queen remains dominant."

    I think what happens is that the female workers don't lay eggs; in that, they resemble males. Only the queen lays eggs.

    Thanks, Jenn and Paul for making me look it up again. It always helps to learn a bit more. Like, how to tell males from females by counting the segments on the antennae. Males have an extra one.


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