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Red Tailed Bumblebee

Dave Cheetham (April)

Spring is finally winning its annual struggle against winter and bringing with it many of the beautiful and uplifting sights we associate with the most welcome of seasons.

With the first flowers of spring also come the first bees. This Red Tailed Bumblebee was buzzing around Plas y Brenin's garden yesterday, enjoying the sunshine. I'm no expert but the absence of any yellow marking suggest that this is a Queen Bee too. She seemed more interested in the earth below her than the flowers though.

It is sad news that Bumblebees are in decline in the UK. Their numbers have halved since 1950.
Three species have become nationally extinct and there's a good chance many more will follow suit unless things change dramatically.
The reason for their demise is simple - less wild flowers, thanks to industrial and agricultural development across the UK. Hopefully, the rise in popularity of gardening at home may do something to stabilize the fall of the 25 remaining species of bumblebees in the UK.

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