Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Black-tailed bumblebee

Bumbling about in a rhododendron ...

Bombus melanopygus

In most of the photos I have of these native bees, it is difficult to verify that they do, in fact, have four wings; here, in spite of the interference from the rhododendron naughty bits, the second wing shows up clearly.

Another photo, showing the black tail that gives this species its common name.

I still have trouble identifying bees and bee mimics. Almost every time, I go back to my post from 2008, "Once upon a time, bees were bees ...", where I sorted some of the locals out, with the help of two experts from BugGuide. Even there, though, I have a couple of unidentified ones. I'll have to look for better specimens this summer.


  1. The bumblebees love my daffodils when they are in bloom. They sleep inside the centers. - Margy

  2. I guess it's warmer deep down in the cone of a daffodil!


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