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Cold Bumble Bee Queen - Luke McGuff

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March 22nd, 2009


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04:43 pm - Cold Bumble Bee Queen
When I was at Thornton Creek Park the other day, I stumbled (almost literally) across a cold bumble bee queen, just emerged from hibernation. That's my presumption. When I first saw her, she was moving very slowly, but gradually warmed up and moved faster. I was so excited I immediately got down onto the ground and started snapping away like mad, just having fun watching her through the viewfinder. As she revived, she moved faster, groomed herself, hopped from the ground to a grass blade, then disappeared.

Only one bumblebee survives the winter from any given nest. That survivor has to be big enough to not only survive hibernation, but raising the first generation of workers when there isn't much in bloom yet.

I felt rarely privileged to be in the right place and the right time. I was so excited and happy, in fact, that very few of the pictures turned out. Hah! Herewith, five not very good photos of a bumble bee queen.


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(12 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:shelly_rae
Date:March 23rd, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
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I love how the new Queens sound like big cargo planes as they buzz around.
Anon
[User Picture]
From:holyoutlaw
Date:March 23rd, 2009 04:37 am (UTC)
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Yes! There was a lot of traffic noise from I5, so I didn't hear this one when she took off, but I've heard others.

[User Picture]
From:shelly_rae
Date:March 23rd, 2009 05:24 am (UTC)
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Someday I'll find the pictures of my bumble bee house and tell you about hosting bumble bees in my garden. When their legs are covered in pollen they look like they're wearing fuzzy yellow leg-warmers to match their back and yellow bodies.
Anon
[User Picture]
From:holyoutlaw
Date:March 23rd, 2009 05:37 am (UTC)
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I call them pollen knickers. My daydream garden has lots of plants for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
[User Picture]
From:wild_patience
Date:March 23rd, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
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You know what they say, it's good to be the Kin, er, Queen!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:holyoutlaw
Date:March 23rd, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
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The macro lens makes it look closer than I really was. However, I was closer than most people would get.

(I almost said "sane" people. ;>)
[User Picture]
From:shirtlifterbear
Date:March 24th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC)
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I have this mental image of her, thinking:

"First things first: I need a damn mimosa! Then I'll start getting things in order, but the wee drinkie? Not optional!"
[User Picture]
From:holyoutlaw
Date:March 24th, 2009 07:25 am (UTC)
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I think you hit the nail on the head.
[User Picture]
From:agentxpndble
Date:March 25th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
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AWESOMEAWESOMEAWESOME!!! I *love* the last one!
[User Picture]
From:holyoutlaw
Date:March 25th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
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Thanks! That's Julie's favorite, as well.
[User Picture]
From:gryph
Date:April 19th, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
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I see now why you're anxious to photograph my stick bugs!

What days are usually better for you?
[User Picture]
From:holyoutlaw
Date:April 19th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
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I'm embarrassingly free. The only day I have anything scheduled next week is Wednesday, in fact.

Late mornings and on work best for me.

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