The old adage " The more you look, the more you see" is certainly true when it comes to Bumblebees.
I have always had a great interest in nature, but never really taken much notice of Bumblebees.
Wasps sting, Bumblebees don't, that was my understanding.
So, while looking for some subject matter around the garden, to try out some macro photography, I came across a bumblebee on some ivy flowers.
Like most macro shots, once you can see the detail, a whole new world emerges.
After some research on Bumblebee identification, I decided that this was a probable "White Tailed Bumblebee" apparently one of the six quite common bumblebees likely to be seen in the garden.
I am now checking all the bumblebees seen on my daily round of dead heading the plants and flowers.
Another day, another bumblebee, this one also had a white tail, but looked completely different from the white tailed bumblebee seen earlier in the week.
My first thoughts were that this must be rare, but no, although a relatively new bumblebee to the country, first noted in 2001, they are spreading throughout the country quite rapidly. But a good one for the garden list.
Some real Bombus action, I noticed this large bumblebee on the concrete drive,and on closer inspection saw that it was two bumblebees, in what I thought was some sort of life and death struggle. It was in fact a "Red tailed Bumblebee" queen and a male in their mating ritual. You can just make out the stinger on the queen which she has to lift out of the way before mating can take place, bit risky.
The queen was last seen flying off in the distance with the male still attached.
This Red tail bumblebee I believe is a worker.
During an afternoon stroll around Rainham RSPB reserve, my wife and I were looking around the wildlife garden, I noticed a new sighting, a possible "Buff Tailed Bumblebee", this is the one on the left, the other looks like a White Tailed Bumblebee.
So out of the six common bumblebees to be seen, that leaves just two, the "Early Bumblebee" and the " Garden Bumblebee"