I have made some studies of the little bee that came back from the UK with me. I had found it in the potting shed.The first bumble bee I drew back in May came from the same place. The potting shed is an ancient wooden lean to, which leans against an even more ancient dry-stone wall. Perhaps these bumble bees both had nests nearby. The first one I am sure was Bombus terrestris, the Buff Tailed Bumble Bee. This one is Bombus hortorus, the Garden Bumble Bee. It had lost a few bits and pieces on the way, one antenna and a foot and looks little forlorn and disheveled but now, at least, is “immortalised”.
Its front legs are very close to its head, so in this sketch you cannot see the mouth or the length of the face properly.
For this sketch I had tried to alter the front leg but only the bottom part moved upwards.
By this next study the other front leg had collapsed. My bee is now taking a bow to you all. The head is way out of sight, tucked right underneath the body. I noticed that from this angle that you can see the shine of the bee’s hard thorax through the black hairs. I have just read this from the excellent site Bumblebee.org here.
“ I have noticed that hortorum tend to have more balding workers than other species. This may be because they specialize in the more complicated flowers, often disappearing entirely within the flower, and rubbing their back against the flower. Or it may be that they rub against things more when entering their nest. Or perhaps they are just prone to premature baldness! “
I am trying not to get too involved….but, thank you little balding bee for aiding me in my quest to understand more.