Neil Pont

Wildlife Photography

"My Blog has moved - click on this link"

Blog

The birds and the bees - well, bees anyway...

Posted on 24 July, 2020 at 17:45

A day late again!  I need to get back into my routine....

Today's blog is built around something we saw in our garden for the first time: bumblebees mating.

There are 4 stages in the lifecycle of a bumblebee:
1. Queens emerge from hibernation and start a new colony (she has been fertilised the previous year, before hibernation)

2. Workers (females) are produced and start to forage; the colony develops and grows
3. Unfertilised eggs (males) are laid and worker larvae develop into new queens
4. Males and new queens mate

When the adult males emerge they spend a few days in the nest, but do no work, and then they leave the nest for good and forage for themselves. They can often be seen sheltering under the heads of flowers when it rains or when it gets dark.

New queens emerge about a week or so after the males. The new queens leave the nest to forage for themselves, returning to the nest for shelter, but they do not add to the existing nest provisions. When the new queen is ready to mate she flies to where the attractant chemical has been deposited by the male and waits for a suitable mate. Then the two mate - as in these pictures of the Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius)


The adult male bumblebee (in common with most adult male insects) has only one function in life - that is to mate. He will fly in a circuit depositing a queen-attracting scent pheromone produced from a gland in his head in suitable places, usually in the morning, and replacing the scent if it rains. Different species have different preferred flying heights for this, and different queen attracting scents.

The pheromone is used to scent-mark prominent objects (tree trunks, rocks, posts, etc) on the circuit which is usually a few hundred metres long. The scent of some species can be detected by some humans. Usually the males patrol at species specific heights.


Mating usually takes place while resting on the ground or on vegetation. At the start of mating the male grabs on to the queen's thorax to get himself into the correct position.

In order to mate the female must extend her sting so that the male can insert his genital capsule.


The time taken for matings varies widely from 10 minutes to 80 minutes. The sperm is transferred within the first 2 minutes of mating, and the bees are in a rather vulnerable position, so why do they continue for so long? Well, after the male passes his sperm into the queen he pumps a sticky mixture into her genital opening. This genital plug takes time to harden, and once hardened can completely or partially block the entry of sperm from other males for up to three days. So even though the two are in a vulnerable position, it is in the interest of the male to hang on to ensure that his genes have a good chance of being passed on to the next generation, and as most males don't even manage to mate, and those that do usually just mate once, he wants to be sure his genes will be passed on.

New queens usually search for a hibernation site soon after mating.


I'm not sure we would have been looking so closely at what is happening in our garden if it weren't for "lockdown". 
Food for thought...

It was great to deepen our understanding of how 'nature' works.

Categories: 2020

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

31402 Comments

Reply golden goose outlet
13:30 on 3 April, 2021 
Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an extremely marvellous opportunity to read articles and blog posts from this web site. It is always so pleasant and also jam-packed with a great time for me and my office mates to search your blog on the least thrice every week to see the latest issues you have got. And indeed, I'm always amazed for the unbelievable secrets you serve. Selected 4 ideas in this article are undoubtedly the most impressive we have all had.
golden goose outlet http://www.goldengooseoutletonline.us.com
Reply jordan 1 mid
13:30 on 3 April, 2021 
I am also commenting to let you be aware of of the great experience our girl developed reading your site. She even learned several issues, which include how it is like to have a great helping mood to make many more with no trouble thoroughly grasp specified tricky subject areas. You actually exceeded readers' expected results. Thank you for supplying these great, safe, explanatory and even easy tips on your topic to Mary.
jordan 1 mid http://www.jordan1shoes.us
Reply supreme
13:23 on 3 April, 2021 
I precisely needed to thank you so much all over again. I'm not certain the things that I would've created in the absence of those smart ideas provided by you regarding my field. It had become a real intimidating condition in my position, however , being able to see this expert form you solved it forced me to jump for delight. Now i'm happy for the assistance and in addition pray you realize what an amazing job you happen to be getting into instructing the rest via a blog. I am sure you've never encountered all of us.
supreme http://www.supreme.us.org
Reply calvin klein outlet
13:16 on 3 April, 2021 
I would like to express some thanks to you just for bailing me out of this type of problem. After exploring through the world-wide-web and obtaining views which are not pleasant, I assumed my life was done. Existing without the presence of answers to the issues you've solved by way of this article is a serious case, as well as those that would have negatively affected my career if I had not come across your web page. Your good training and kindness in taking care of every item was invaluable. I don't know what I would have done if I had not discovered such a thing like this. I can at this time look forward to my future. Thanks so much for your skilled and effective guide. I won't be reluctant to refer the sites to any person who should receive counselling about this subject matter.
calvin klein outlet http://www.calvinkleinoutlet.us.com
Reply kevin durant shoes
13:16 on 3 April, 2021 
My wife and i ended up being now thankful Emmanuel managed to finish up his investigation from the precious recommendations he grabbed out of the web site. It's not at all simplistic to just possibly be making a gift of helpful hints which often a number of people have been making money from. We already know we have you to give thanks to for that. All the illustrations you have made, the easy site menu, the friendships you can help to create - it's got many extraordinary, and it's really aiding our son and the family consider that this issue is entertaining, which is certainly exceptionally indispensable. Many thanks for all!
kevin durant shoes http://www.kd12.us.com
Reply bape hoodie
13:16 on 3 April, 2021 
I together with my buddies have been digesting the excellent secrets and techniques located on your website while suddenly I had an awful suspicion I never expressed respect to the web blog owner for those strategies. Most of the ladies were definitely totally joyful to learn all of them and have undoubtedly been enjoying those things. Thank you for truly being really accommodating and then for choosing varieties of quality useful guides millions of individuals are really needing to be aware of. Our honest regret for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.
bape hoodie http://www.bapehoodie.us
Reply curry shoes
13:16 on 3 April, 2021 
I have to point out my affection for your kindness giving support to individuals who really want guidance on your concern. Your personal commitment to passing the solution all through ended up being quite productive and have truly allowed workers just like me to attain their pursuits. This interesting key points signifies a great deal to me and much more to my fellow workers. Thanks a ton; from everyone of us.
curry shoes http://www.curryshoes.us.com
Reply nike x off white
13:15 on 3 April, 2021 
My husband and i felt really fortunate that Peter managed to deal with his homework through the precious recommendations he got while using the web page. It's not at all simplistic to simply continually be giving out concepts that the rest might have been trying to sell. And we also keep in mind we now have you to appreciate for this. These illustrations you made, the simple web site menu, the relationships you can aid to engender - it's got mostly unbelievable, and it's making our son in addition to our family reason why this subject is pleasurable, which is exceedingly serious. Thank you for all!
nike x off white http://www.nikexoffwhite.com
Reply retro jordans
13:13 on 3 April, 2021 
Thanks a lot for providing individuals with such a memorable opportunity to discover important secrets from this web site. It's usually so lovely plus full of amusement for me personally and my office acquaintances to visit your site more than thrice weekly to read the fresh stuff you have got. Of course, I am usually pleased with the cool creative concepts served by you. Selected 4 ideas in this posting are absolutely the simplest I have had.
retro jordans http://www.retro-jordans.us.com
Reply ¥×¥é¥ÀÑ¥¥³¥Ô©`Æ·
13:01 on 3 April, 2021 
Black Polyester Mesh https://www.hccoated.com/black-polyester-mesh/
����??���`�?`���?` https://www.slenderiser.de/technische-expertise/business-applicat
ion-programming-interface/
Reply bape
12:51 on 3 April, 2021 
Thanks so much for giving everyone such a memorable possiblity to read critical reviews from this blog. It is always very sweet and full of fun for me personally and my office co-workers to search the blog the equivalent of three times per week to see the newest tips you will have. And of course, I'm just always amazed with all the stunning knowledge you give. Certain 3 ideas in this article are in truth the most effective I have had.
bape http://www.bapehoodie.us
Reply supreme hoodie
12:39 on 3 April, 2021 
I wanted to send you one very small word so as to thank you very much as before on your superb methods you've shared in this case. It was really particularly generous with you to give extensively precisely what a number of us would have sold for an electronic book to make some cash for themselves, most importantly given that you might have tried it in case you considered necessary. Those thoughts in addition acted like the good way to realize that most people have a similar eagerness like my personal own to find out good deal more with respect to this problem. I know there are thousands of more pleasurable times in the future for individuals who look over your blog post.
supreme hoodie http://www.supreme-clothings.us.com
Reply chrome hearts outlet
12:35 on 3 April, 2021 
My wife and i got contented that Raymond could finish off his web research using the ideas he obtained from your weblog. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be freely giving facts which often men and women could have been trying to sell. And we also already know we have got the website owner to be grateful to for that. The main explanations you've made, the straightforward website menu, the relationships you will help to instill - it's all overwhelming, and it's helping our son and us reckon that that theme is interesting, which is certainly particularly pressing. Many thanks for everything!
chrome hearts outlet http://www.chromeheartstoreonline.com
Reply golden goose outlet
12:28 on 3 April, 2021 
My spouse and i ended up being comfortable that Chris could finish up his homework by way of the ideas he had when using the web pages. It's not at all simplistic to simply possibly be giving away secrets and techniques that many other people could have been selling. And we all understand we have you to thank because of that. Those illustrations you've made, the easy blog menu, the relationships your site help engender - it is most terrific, and it is helping our son in addition to our family understand the matter is thrilling, and that is unbelievably essential. Thanks for the whole thing!
golden goose outlet http://www.goldengoosesonline.com
Reply bape
12:02 on 3 April, 2021 
I intended to send you the bit of observation just to thank you very much as before about the remarkable pointers you've shared above. This is so strangely generous of people like you to deliver easily all that a few people could have supplied as an electronic book in making some money for themselves, most notably since you might have tried it in case you decided. The good tips likewise acted as a great way to be sure that other people online have the identical interest just as my personal own to learn somewhat more in terms of this condition. I'm sure there are a lot more fun times up front for many who scan your blog.
bape http://www.bapesonline.com
Reply Carlcal
11:44 on 3 April, 2021 
viagra tablet purchase online online modafinil pharmacy tadalafil usa viagra 25 mg coupon tadalafil cost in india
Reply 100% real jordans for cheap
11:19 on 3 April, 2021 
I am just commenting to make you know of the beneficial encounter my friend's girl obtained visiting yuor web blog. She even learned several issues, with the inclusion of how it is like to possess an incredible coaching mindset to make most people with no trouble know just exactly specific extremely tough things. You truly surpassed my expected results. Thanks for imparting such informative, healthy, educational and also fun tips about that topic to Mary.
100% real jordans for cheap http://www.jordansforcheap.us.com
Reply Homeless Cheapest Sleeping Bag
11:13 on 3 April, 2021 
�?�??�����`�?`���?`??�� https://onestarlife.com/ru/tipy-turov/gornye-ekspedicii
Homeless Cheapest Sleeping Bag https://www.kinggoalbedding.com/homeless-cheapest-sleeping-bag/
Reply Lisacal
11:00 on 3 April, 2021 
otc viagra pills
Reply supreme clothing
10:42 on 3 April, 2021 
I must show my thanks to the writer just for rescuing me from this setting. Right after searching through the search engines and getting views which are not productive, I thought my entire life was done. Living without the answers to the difficulties you've fixed all through your good article is a crucial case, as well as ones which might have negatively damaged my career if I hadn't noticed your web page. Your good training and kindness in maneuvering every part was invaluable. I don't know what I would have done if I had not come across such a stuff like this. I can also at this point relish my future. Thanks very much for the impressive and result oriented help. I will not be reluctant to endorse your web site to any individual who ought to have direction about this area.
supreme clothing http://www.supremeclothingstore.com
0