I had a very exciting day last Thursday as not only did I have a great time teaching volunteers to identify bumblebees in sunny south Wales, but I saw my first shrill carder bee! Having been working to help conserve this handsome little bumblebee for nearly a year now, I was delighted to see one at last, on one of Gwent Wildlife Trust's beautiful wildflower meadow nature reserves.
Even better was that we have recently worked with Gwent Wildlife Trust to increase the amount of flower-rich habitat on the reserve to further support the shrill carder bee population, so fantastic to see them using the reserve this year already! It is actually pretty early as the shrill carder bee normally emerges later than more common bumblebees, so to see a worker in late May was very exciting as it means the queen must have set up home already!
I thought it was a shrill carder bee as soon as I saw it but went though all the identification features one by one just to be doubly sure - but the high pitched buzz was a real give away! Here is a picture of me with the bee - you will have to take my word for it that there is a shrill carder bee in the pot - it was very small!
Hopefully more soon now I am getting out and about with the bumbles!
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