The photo shoot for the day started here-
A pair of Canada Geese landed in a grass-sheltered area of the wetland. The plan was to practice using manual settings on my DSLR to experiment with aperture, shutter-speed, and ISO. That plan soon changed, when…
My concentration was broken by the distinct, loud, buzzing of an insect flying past the camera’s field of view.
I turned to follow the sound trail that fell silent as the large creature tumbled onto a leaf in the salal hedge in the riparian zone.
MUCH to my surprise… there, landed a Bumble Bee.
Interest in the Canada Geese evaporated in the instant it took for the Bumble Bee to settle on the leaf.
The Bumble Bee remained for more than an hour. I happily changed the focus of the practice session to the new arrival, and took dozens of photographs of her basking on the sun-soaked leaf.
This is the set of photos I selected from the collection to make my first submission to a citizen scientist program called the Bumble Bee Watch…
The Xerces Society, in collaboration with the University of Ottawa, Wildlife Preservation Canada, the Montreal Insectarium, the Natural History Museum of London, and BeeSpotter, will be launching a citizen science initiative to track all species of North American bumble bees. This project will help us to follow the status of these essential pollinators and inform effective conservation actions. With our new website you will be able to upload photos, use an interactive identification tool, and submit georeferenced records of all North American bumble bees.
Are you interested in bumble bees? If so, the site is loaded with resources.
Are you interested in submitting observations? If so, the process is very easy. Register first; then follow the steps to submit photos:
Not sure exactly which bumble bee you observed? No problem, in step three, “Identify your species,” a set of attributes charts helps you to hone in on the selection of a species. Bumble Bee Watch experts then verify, and post the photos as part of a growing data set.
I learned that the bumble bee in my photos is most likely a Vosnesensky bumble bee- Bombus vosnesenskii or Yellow-faced Bumble Bee. She is a female because they are the sole survivors of the previous year’s colony. The solitary queen emerges after overwintering in the ground in a small cavity she excavated call a hibernaculum. She will locate an appropriate nest site to lay the eggs that will start a new colony.
Resource for this post:
Xerces Society: Bumble Bees of the Western United States