Fat Bottomed Girls - and our 1st goodbye

We've had a few bumblebees in care now, 3 in fact, all very small and missing various bits such as wings and legs. They've been getting along great together in their box and feeding well. Here they are all sleeping/resting together - very cute ☺

3 tiny bumbles resting overnightOnce BCW was back from her travels she decided to name them after the 3 Amigos (3 Abeegos, as I call them): Lucky, Dusty and Nedine (girl's version of Ned). 

Sadly, girl/worker bumblebees generally have a very short life, perhaps 1 - 3 weeks, and the small ones especially so. Lucky, the first one I rescued, took a turn for the worse mid morning - very still and listless. We offered her some honey water but she wasn't interested and it didn't help to revive her. 

Little Lucky - not feeling so wellIt looks like this evening we've lost her; sad indeed, but we are becoming used to it - all part of the short cycle of life for bumblebees and for her only perhaps 6 - 10 days old.

I've not had chance to scan the CCTV so far this week (which is not good) - but it's been so wet and windy that there's not been a lot of activity. One of the most intriguing things we'e seen is what seems to be a queen fanning. I'm surprised she is taking on a worker role. I keep doubting if it's a queen, but here's a series of pictures and I'm sure that all the large bees are queens. Indeed, some of them are easily over 25mm in length.

a very sizeable bee - queen - fanning Another shot of the same queenOther large bees - NOT queen size - fanning

 And another shot of some queens just to get the scale

3 queens resting at the entrance - huge abdomenSo, I'm pretty confident in that first image, it's a queen.