Photograph of a white-tailed bumblebee on a bramble

Early morning bumblebees

Bumblebees are among the best pollinators of any flower-visiting insects. This is for several reasons. Firstly, they are quite large and can fly long distances between flowers, transporting pollen. Secondly, they are covered with long hairs that help the bee to gather pollen but also transfer it from flower to flower. The third reason is because of a special buzzing technique the bees have (sometimes called “buzz pollination”) that bumblebees use to dislodge pollen held on the anthers of flowers. This sounds like a high-pitched buzz compared to the usual hum of a bumblebee. Join Dr Ed Turner, our Curator of Insects, in his garden to see some bumblebees in action.

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