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Bumble bee rumble

BijdezeeBijdezee Bruges, BelgiumPosts: 1,005
Can anyone explain what I saw and heard this afternoon?  I heard a bee buzzing in an unusual way, probably aggressive, but in all the years spent watching them I've never seen or heard aggression. Then I heard a really high pitched sort of screaming and saw two bumble bees, one making what looked like an attack / stinging the other one which was doing the 'screaming' noise. Then they flew off. They were not the same sort of bee, both small bumble bees not the big stripy ones, but different to each other?

Could one have stung the other, territory protection or something? The 'scream' was horrible. 

Posts

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,717
    They were probably solitary bee species which tend to be a bit more territorial than social bees like bumblebees. I've seen male wool carder bees in my garden locking jaws and wrestling on the ground. The high pitch wing beat noise must be part of their fighting tactics.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,656
    There are flies, that look like bumblebees, which inject their eggs into the bodies of true bumblebees. The eggs then hatch out and feed on the living body of the bumblebee.

    Can’t remember the name of the fly just now. I’m sure someone will.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Bruges, BelgiumPosts: 1,005
    Interesting. At least one was definately a bumble bee and I suppose its possible that the other could have been a lookalike nasty. They didn't seem to be fighting as the bb was facing away and seemed like it was being attacked by the other.

    It's nature I suppose but the noise freaked me out  :s
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,717
    pansyface said:
    There are flies, that look like bumblebees, which inject their eggs into the bodies of true bumblebees. The eggs then hatch out and feed on the living body of the bumblebee.

    Can’t remember the name of the fly just now. I’m sure someone will.
    That's an interesting thought. Conopid flies.




  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    I picked my first ever one out the greenhouse a few weeks back. It was so loud the buzzing that's why I noticed it
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,717
    These were the carder bees I saw fighting. They seemed more interested in biting than stinging but their jaws look fierce enough.


  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    Were the bees definitely fighting @Bijdezee. I find the noise they can make a little disconcerting at times, they are so small.

    Bijdezee said:They didn't seem to be fighting as the bb was facing away and seemed like it was being attacked by the other.

    Not to put too finer point on it but..... how do bees do it.
    I know how Birds do it....

    Their little mandibles are very useful. I located a bee by the noise it made, (very loud and annoyed), it was slightly tangled in a spider web. I helped it out and they use them to cut through web if not caught up too badly.
    Sorry a little off topic. 
    And leaf cutters, I forget they have the means to cut those neat leaf pieces.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,717
    Rubytoo said:
    Their little mandibles are very useful.
    They also use them to hang on to plants while resting.

  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    edited June 2019
    Rubytoo said:
    Their little mandibles are very useful.
    They also use them to hang on to plants while resting.

    That is neat , thanks for the close up. I thought they just used their "feet". I usually have to wear really big girl glasses to see little detail, so don't see that when gardening. :)
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Bruges, BelgiumPosts: 1,005
    I dont think it was a fight as such and more that the buff bum bee was being attacked by the blacker coloured one, i thought I saw it sting it but I didn't have my specs on.

    All is peaceful out there today thank god, they're just busy with normal stuff. 
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