Friday, February 19, 2010

Bumblebees on The Web

Not a spider's web, of course. Most bumblebee queens and large workers are strong and heavy enough to extricate themselves from a spider's web. Although the smaller workers could easily be trapped, one seldom sees them suspended from an orb web. Perhaps their defensive sting convinces the spider to cut them out, or perhaps they are just good at sensing and avoiding the spider webs in the first place.

Today's posting is actually about bumblebees on the World Wide Web. Fortunately there is loads of good information out there, and all freely available too.

The place where every bumblebee afficionado should start is ( This site aims to be the textbook of bumblebee biology, providing detailed information that is well illustrated. Here you can find out about bumblebee anatomy, nests, life cycles, feeding, foraging, behavior, economic importance and much, much more. The focus is on British species, but most of the biological information applies to species found in the rest of the world as well. The color patterns of North American bumblebees are illustrated, so you can make a start at recognizing species on both sides of the Atlantic. That's one of the great photos from on the right.

If, on the other hand, you just want a quick overview, try the Wikipedia page:

Learn about some of the conservation issues for bumblebees, especially in Britain, at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust [], and for North America at the Xerces Society [].

Information on Bumblebees of The World is featured at the Natural History Museum (London) []. And you can see some great, hi-res photos at:

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