Friday, 30 March 2012

How have bumble bees survived all these years?

No moths today. I'm giving them a rest. Instead, a Bee movie, after I heard a strange sound in our cellar. I thought it was vibration from Yorkshire Water's people who are replacing water pipes in our road (very skilfully and considerately); but then it turned into the unmistakable buzz of a baffled and frustrated bumble bee.

How does this species survive? I know that a human can't sensibly call an animal stupid, but it certainly is tempting with dear old bumblers. This one had got into a coffee mug and just couldn't get out. Unable to manage vertical lift-off like a Harrier jet, it couldn't work out how to align itself sideways and simply fly away.

We spend our summer decanting bumble bees out of our kitchen, after they fly in and batter hopelessly against the window panes. I remember meeting a cucumber grower from the East Riding who said that they did the same with her, although at least they proved useful in helping to pollinate her plants as they whizzed around.

I took the photo above but that didn't seem adequate. So settle back and admire my work - in the tradition of Cecil Bee De Mille...

video




6 comments:

Phil said...

We have a similar problem with bumblebees trapping themselves in the small conservatory on the back of our house Martin. We need to leave the doors open in this hot weather and the bees always find their way in but can never seem to find the doorway again of get out. I must have caught and released well over a dozen yesterday!

MartinWainwright said...

It's rum isn't it? I forgot to add that no bees were heard in the making of my film...

How have they kept going as what seems to be an otherwise successful species?

Lovely to hear from you - always much enjoy your blogs

M

Cyren said...

What a cute bee!!! And it's soo fuzzy!!!

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Cyren!

Cute and fuzzy, but daft! Still, we all love bumblebees, and their name is very apt. All warm wishes to you on the far side of the world

Martin

sarah meredith said...

Hi Martin - did you film and schlep the bee at the same time or was that Penny's fine hand with the camera? xxs

MartinWainwright said...

Sarah Hi! How nice to hear from you again. Sorry for delay - I've been down south, wandering round Wiltshire with a cousin who broke his neck in a bike accident but is making an amazing recovery. We had jolly times at Stonehenge among many of your fellow countrypersons...

Actually the beautiful (if chubby) hand is mine as I did indeed manage to carry out the bee and film it at the same time. Beat President Ford there, then!

xxx to you all. Penny has just been on a Women's Walking Weekend in the Lake District with assorted relatives and has come back full of vim.

xx m (and P)