Hungry Bumblebees Are Not So Humble

Hungry bumblebee, trying to break open a rhododendron bud.

Hungry bumblebee, trying to break open a rhododendron bud.


I found this little critter flying around our purple rhododendron, visiting the nectar providing blossoms and tried to make a picture of it. It took me some time to persuade my cheap little diggi-snapper to switch to the macro-function. After the first nice picture of the bumblebee visiting an open flower and doing what bumblebees do inside an open flower (let me assure you: it looks quite a bit like…uhm…) the insects jumped to the adjacent blossom which was still closed. We botanists call that thing a bud. So it sat there, right on the bud seemingly doing nothing, taking a break or something. If it had not been for the nice profile I would have waited until it visits the next open flower (I think I’m still bound to the very finite number of pictures available on celluloid in my thoughts instead of the over thousand that fit on the 8GB card tucked in the camera). It was only later at the large monitor that I saw the curious behaviour.
With the help of the large monitor it was also possible to identify the species: Bombus terrestris which has a long proboscis of about 8-9 mm (don’t know how much that is in old money) which could be long enough.
I made a handful more pictures which you can see (in full resolution now) at my Flickr account. Please follow the link in the Flickr-plugin.

PS: And at some day in a future far away I will be able to spell “Rhododendron” right the very first time.

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