This large, handsome bumble bee was thoroughly probing the Hostas in Green-Wood. Now, I find bumblebee identification difficult. There are four or five species that have yellow abdomen, and none of them are commonly seen here. I narrowed it down to Bombus pensylvanicus or B. borealis (but we are a bit south of its range) or B. fervidus.
The Xerces Society’s pdf “Bumble Bees of the Eastern U.S.“, for instance, assumes you have a specimen under a microscope. “Midleg basitarus with distal posterior corner sharply pointed” runs a typical line. I have a field guide… uh, somewhere, so that’s no help. Finally, I submitted one of these pictures to Bugguide.net: and the verdict was Bombus fervidus, Great Northern Bumble Bee.
Published August 19, 2014
Tags: bees, birding, birds, Brooklyn
An Eastern Kingbird in Green-Wood. Flying insect eaters, Kingbirds will bank and swerve like crazy while attempting to get at bugs making evasive maneuvers. Here’s a big bee who didn’t escape.
Published July 26, 2014
Tags: bees, flowers, plants
Flying between these absurdly large flowers of hybrid rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), this bumblebee was practically glowing yellow from all the pollen.But note how the wings remain mostly clean. Bees are hairy, the hairs statically charged to help pollen stick to them. Of course, you wouldn’t want your wings to be laden with pollen or anything else when you fly.
The fence posts in Brooklyn Bridge Park are made from Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), a durable, naturally rot-resistant wood. Of course, like anything in a natural environment, even one as heavily managed as this, it will end up having more than a single, intended purpose.The top, for instance, is a great place for birds to perch, chew the fat (worm, berry) and, obviously, poop.The wood itself is home. I saw an unidentified insect — something Diptera or Hymenoptera — crawl into the hole on the left of this knot. I waited a while, but nothing emerged, so the mystery about what is nesting here remains.This fungus is right at home here, indeed, inseparable.And even busy bees need to rest every once and a while… this Megachilidae leaf-cutter is pausing on her way back to her nest with one of the ovals of fresh leaf she has chewed out. She’ll use this as lining in her nest. I’ve seen these types of bees before (you can’t see it here, but they collect pollen under their abdomen); I’ve seen their cut-outs on leaf margins; but this was the first time I’ve seen one of the bees with a piece of leaf, work in hand(s), as it were.