posted in: Bees, Invertebrates, Worcestershire | 0

On Facepalm this morning, a photographer friend of mine asked plaintively if it was unreasonable to expect 20┬░ and blue sky in July? Unreasonable or not, that isn’t what we got today: in theory the temperature was in the mid-teens, but the gusty breeze and occasional bouts of drizzle made it feel much colder, and the light was truly awful.

Waiting (vainly) for things to improve, I did some photo processing and admin, and then helped R to set up a router and get all our most important devices working on the new network. (For a potential bonus of twenty marks, please discuss the following question: “Smart TVs: WHY???“). Eventually though, we reached the Now or Never hour, when I had no choice but to ignore the conditions and go out in search of an insect.

Twenty minutes later my quest was rained off, by which point I’d discovered just four bees – one Common Carder, and three Fork-tailed Flower Bees – all stoically working the black horehound, in defiance of the weather. This is one of the flower bees, displaying the awesome proboscis she shares with her hairy-footed cousins, and the teeny projections at the end of her abdomen from which she gets her common name. At first glance the females of this species appear drably brown, but on closer inspection their markings are quite interesting. I like their black thoracic stripe and their ginger pollen brushes; and I think┬átheir red tails and the orangey-red accents on their shoulders, faces and legs are especially stylish.

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