<< Previous Next >>

Bumblebee 3

Bumblebee 3
Photo Information
Copyright: Jacqueline Schnepp (Noisette) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1714 W: 4 N: 2351] (7821)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-07
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, 55-200mm f/4-5.6GED-IF AF-S DX VR Zoom N
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-07-25 8:09
Viewed: 3868
Points: 62
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello All

today a shot of a bumblebee, i think it is a Bombus terrestris but i am not sure at 100%


Bombus terrestris. This is our largest bumblebee, and usually the first to emerge. The thing to note on the queen is the dirty orange colour of the hairs at the end of the abdomen. Also when Bombus terrestris and B. lucorum can be seen together the yellow hairs of B. terrestris appear more orangey while those of B. lucorum are more lemon yellow. Workers have a white tail, and are almost indistinguishable from Bombus lucorum workers. Lengths, queen 20-22, worker 11-17, male 14-16.

The queens Bombus terrestris and B. lucorum are usually the first to emerge in the spring. B. terrestris queens are the largest bumblebees we have in the UK. It is fairly easy to differentiate between B. terrestris and B. lucorum queens as the yellow thorax hairs of terrestris are more dull orangey while those of lucorum are more lemony, and B. terrestris has a brownish orange tip to her abdomen while B. lucorum's is white.

The workers and males of these two species are impossible to tell apart unless they are dissected.The workers look like smaller versions of the lucorum queen. See the worker on the left. The size range can vary quite a lot, but usually the smaller workers are from the earliest laid eggs. Bombus lucorum workers range from 0.04 - 0.32 g and the queens from 0.46 - 0.70 g; B. terrestris workers range from 0.05 g - 0.40 g. The males have a many more yellow hairs, and a distinctive yellow nose. Of course they do not usually emerge until about August. Both of these species make their nests in the ground, usually in old mouse nests, and preferably facing south to keep the nest warm, though B. terrestris tends to prefer shadier sites. Generally the nests of B. terrestris have a deeper and longer tunnel that those of B. lucorum. A favourite nesting site of B. terrestris is under garde sheds. Successful nests can have as many as 350 workers. The cuckoo species of B. lucorum is B. bohemicus, and the cuckoo species of B. terrestris is B. vestalis.

In the early days of the nest it is estimated that a Bombus terrestris queen may have to visit as many as 6000 flowers per day in order to get enough nectar to maintain the heat needed to brood her eggs. And during every foraging trip the brood will cool down, so the trips should be short. This is why it is vital that the nest is located close to rewarding flowers.

Caste determination in Bombus terrestris. The queen secretes a pheromone, which, if present within the first 5 days of larval life determines that the larva will develop into a worker. If the pheromone in absent, and if the larva receives sufficient food ( more than a larva destined to be a worker) during her final instar she will develop into a queen. Consequently a queen larva is larger than a worker larva. It is believed that caste determination works in a similar way for other bumblebee species too.

Pollen basket. The photograph below left shows the pollen basket of a Bombus terrestris queen. This is the modified tibia of the hind leg. The inside leg is covered with hairs to rub pollen off the body. This is then passed to the pollen press, which is formed by a comb on the tibia, and the press or auricle on the metatarsus. The levering action of these two press the pollen, and it is pushed up onto the shiny, flat or convex tibia. The surrounding hairs and stiff and hold the pollen safely until the bee reaches the nest.

Nectar robbing. Both species have comparatively short tongues for bumblebees, so they tend to forage on flowers with short corollas and daisy-type flowers. However they are accomplished nectar robbers. When they find a flower where the nectar is too deep down the corolla for them to reach they bite a hole near the base of the corolla and push their tongue through and drink the nectar. This can often be seen on vetches. Other bumblebees will use the hole, and late in the year I have even seen honey bees and wasps use holes made by bumblebees. One of the best examples of nectar robbing is to be seen in the Cruickshank Botanical Gardens of the University of Aberdeen. Between the back of the Zoology building and the benches is a strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), it has white, bell-shaped flowers with nectaries just out of reach of B. terrestris and B. lucorum. By the end of summer almost all of the thousands of flowers will have a hole at the base, and this hole will be used by all short-tongued nectar gathering insects, especially wasps. When B. terrestris and B. lucorum aren't robbing flowers without pollinating them they are very useful pollinators of fruit trees, raspberries and blueberries. They also favour any flower with nectar or pollen that is easy to get at. The worker above right is foraging on mimosa, and these left and right are brushing the pollen off the anthers of a large water lily flower.

Males patrol circuits. All bumblebee males patrol mating circuits laying down a pheromone to attract new queens. The pheromone is used to scent-mark prominent objects (tree trunks, rocks, posts, etc) on the circuit. The circuit is marked in the morning, and after rain. The scent of some species can be detected by some humans. Usually they patrol at species specific heights. Bombus terrestris and lucorum males patrol at tree-top height. However this depends on the habitat.

marianas, maurydv, anemone, Alex99, bahadir, boreocypriensis, haraprasan, rommel, siggi, CeltickRanger, Dis. Ac., rousettus, oscarromulus, Heaven, ferranjlloret, pankajbajpai, Argus, MMM, vanda, cirano has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To bahadir: hello BahadirNoisette 1 07-26 16:09
To anemone: Hello OzgurNoisette 1 07-25 14:27
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hi Jaqueline
Wonderful and very sharp shot of a bumblebee on a lovely flower.
Details and colors are perfect, and your note very instructive.

Ciao Jacqueline,
une belle photo en macro, treès bonne netteté avec de couleurs spledides et naturelles et une merveilleuse luminosité, très jolie composition.
Merci et félicitations
Bonne soirée

hello Jacqueline
super pose with beautiful colours and good sharpness
great details and good light
a beauty
greeting lou

Hello Jaqueline,
congratulations for the photo, beautiful, excellent sharpness and contrast.
Excellent POV and beautiful colors.
Thanks for sharing
Hello Vanni

Hi Jacqueline.
Impressive macro capture.. Details and composition are great.
Kind regards,

Ciao Jaqueline. Impressive details and brilliant colours. Best colours. Bit noised.



  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-07-25 22:44]

Hi Jacqueline.
Excellent shot of alive (:)) bumblebee on a fine flowers. I like wonderful greenish colour palette of the shot, superb sharpness of the flower and insect and nice blurriness of the surroundings. All the best to you and Valerie.

Hello Jacqueline,
Perfect shot of this bombus on a thistle.
Nice cmposition.
TFS and regards,


  • Great 
  • Aleks Silver Star Critiquer [C: 31 W: 0 N: 14] (14)
  • [2010-07-26 0:35]

Hi Jacqueline,

Very nice shot of this bumblebee. I find bumblebees quite a difficult subject as they have so much hair.

Wonderful colour and composition



Ciao Jacqueline, lovely bumblebee on a beautiful flower, wonderful colors, splendid sharpness, good blurry BG and fine details, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi MF Jacqueline,

An impressive macro capture. The sharpness of the Bumblebee and branchthistle is superb, while the bakground compliments the colors perfectly. Nice lighting also, a very pleasing nature composition indeed.
TFS and have a nice week!


Hi Jacqueline,
A nice capture of this beautiful beautiful bumble bee. Very nice details and a good composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Jacqueline,
Nicely captured image of this bumble bee perched on the vividly coloured flower.Nice diagonal perspective and well presented.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-07-26 4:26]

Hello Jacqueline,
what an very good macro here. Vivid colors and excellent composition. Blurred BG is great, as well as your note.
Best regards Siggi

Hola Jacqueline

Perfecta imagen de esta bombus, que es dificilisimo cogerla en vuelo, ya que no para ni un momento y siempre la cogemos en las flores y con la cabeza metida en ella, pero yo sigo intentandolo.

Preciosa imagen y bien tomada, contrastes y nitidez perfectas.

Un saludo de Antonio

bonjour Jacqueline

superbe photo en close-up de cette abeille sur sa fleur,
prise par un excellent POV, excellent focus netteté et détails,
et une belle lumière venant sur le sujet et l'image en générale,



Hi Jaqueline,

I dont know the ID from the bee but the flower are Cirsium vulgare.
Good pov and details with very fine olours.
Are you already grandma?


Hello Jacqueline
very nice close shot of Bumblebee on Asterid flower, with great sharp details. colors, composition and POV also very nice. thanks for sharing, best wishes and have a nice evening

All your work has "CLASS"... quality!!!
Always presented with taste!!!
Loved your detailed notes.
The B/G is most lovely.
Excellent clarity and sharp too!!!
Greetings from Mario in Canada.

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2010-07-29 22:52]

Chère Jacqueline!

Cela fait un moment que je ne suis pas retourné sur TN, et c'est avec un grand plaisir que je revisite ta galerie. Je me suis arrêté sur cette image car il serait difficile de faire le choix parmi tes images, toutes de qualité. J'aime la simplicité de la composition et du sujet en soi: une abeille sur une Centaurée (sauf erreur...), une image bien nette et riche en détails. Tes notes sont très élaborées et intéressantes.



  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-07-30 2:48]

Hello Jacqueline,
a very detailed shot if this bumblebee.. The fine hairs on its body is well shown in superb clarity. The flower too is very attractive in colours and its lovely features.
You have used the right angle to give an effective view, especially the light.
nicely composed with good neat green background.


Hi, Jacqueline,
Nice composition and excellent sharpness and contrast.
Best regards,

hello Jacqueline,
fine capture of the bumblebee, the focus is perfect and the sharpness is very good, well composed shot,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-08-01 2:14]

Hello Jacqueline,
A superb capture of both the Bumblebee queen and the thistle flower, set in a pleasing composition that shows the two with fine sharpness, DOF and natural colours.
Thanks and have a good Sunday,

  • Great 
  • john1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 122 W: 0 N: 439] (3410)
  • [2010-08-01 9:30]

Bonjour Jacqueline.

Superbe cette macro de ce bourdon avec cette jolie fleur, de très belle couleurs et netteté.
Cadrage est magnifique et très belle composition, merci pour le partage.
Une bonne soirée,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-08-01 14:44]

Hello Jacqueline,
Beautiful sharp detailed photo and great light and saturated colours. Good POV, DOF, composition and OOF BG.

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2010-08-03 6:01]

Salut Jacqueline
Superbe macro.Excellent composition et image bien en focus.Les couleurs et le detail sont aussi tres bien
Merci Michel

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2010-08-03 17:00]

Hello Jacqueline
Wonderful shot of this beautiful bee. With Excellent colos and details. The composition is amazing
Well done

  • Great 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2010-08-04 15:02]

Bonsoir Jacqueline!
Marvellous composition with splendid light and colours. Excellent focus on the Bombus.
I like the soft details of the flower and the splendid blurred BG.
Bonne nuit.
Ciao! vanda

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2010-08-04 15:14]

Hello jacqueline,
What a sharp macro of this bumblebee in great light,colors and excellent details.TFS.
have a nice day.

Calibration Check