Bumble Identification App

There are 23 bumblebee species in Britain and Ireland. They play an increasingly appreciated role as pollinators and indicators of habitat diversity. Now for the first time there is an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that provides a comprehensive resource to help identify bumblebees in the field and for learning all about them.

Bumblebee identifiaction, Premo From London, The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, tyoes of bumblebee

Bumblebees of Britain & Ireland is published by NatureGuides in partnership with Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Habitat Aid. The app is the result of a three-year project involving numerous people and organisations. It offers the following features:

  • Superb specially commissioned illustrations by Richard Lewington, showing all forms for each species
  • Multiple video clips for every species, showing interesting and characteristic behaviour
  • All-species view organised to help rapid identification in the field
  • Still photographs for every species, carefully selected to show key identification points
  • Distribution maps and detailed text accounts including advanced identification
  • Extensive introduction reproduced from David Alford’s classic book Bumblebees
  • Intuitive software that allows any species to be compared side-by-side
  • Supports both scientific and common English species naming

Courtesy of the http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=3814


How do queen bumblebees hibernate

Ever wondered where queen bumblebees hibernate in the winter.  Have a look at the link below and a lot of other articles from The Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Sleeping bees, hybernating bees, Premo From London, Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Hibernating queen bumblebee.


A French Garden – A French Farm and French sunflower honey.

I found this blog whilst searching for honey in France. We are on the hunt for interesting flavours, including lavender and sunflower.  I once tasted a gloriously sunny tasting sunflower honey in the South Of France and was smitten.  It was creamed honey, honey that has been whipped to break up any crystals that honey naturally has.  The result is a thick, spreadable honey. Now I run a honey importing company, I am on the search for Sunflower honey again to add to our range of speciality honeys.

Mason bees, A French Garden, Premo From London, bee hotel Mason bees, mason bee hotels, A French Garden, Premo From London

But back to the blog. Amelia moved to France a few years ago to garden, photograph and observe the huge variety of wildlife in the French Countryside.  Here is her article on Mason Bees and she has also set up another blog especially for bees.  Mason bees, solitary bees and other pollinators seem to get a bit of a raw deal against the honey providers and bumble bees.  Amelia would love the see this change.  She also led me to buy the book “A Sting in the Tale” by Dave Goulson – founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.  http://bumblebeeconservation.org/. He bought a derelict farm surrounded by acres of meadow, to create a place for his bees and other myriad of insects to live. He has a great sense of humour and I am looking forward to taking his books to France when we finally purchase our barn over there.



Bees in the artists eye

I have always loved art, craft, textiles and the capturing of nature in media.  Today I wanted to show some artists work that I really love and hugely admire.  I admire their work because it is skilled, of beauty and honed from many years of hard work.  Here they are with bees, obviously, as the subject.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Claire Moynihan  – 3D embroidery known as stump work, little intricately detailed insects on tiny bug balls. I just want to have one of these on my desk.  Claire mounts them into entomology displays – far better than sticking pins into the real thing. www.clairemoynihan.co.uk

stump work embrodered bee ball

Mister Finch – Fantasy, fable and fabulous forest creatures, insects and flora made from scraps of fabrics with humour.  These wonderful little creatures remind me of folklore stories and fairies – just lovely. I am off to the bottom of the garden to talk to the bees! www.mister-finch.com

Mr Finch's bees

Eleanor Rose – Lace, wire and embroidery combined sometimes with illustration.  I love the simplicity, evoking the delicate structure of our flying friends.  I also love the contrast of the fabric bodies to the wire work wings – the soft against the skeletal. www.eleanorrosetextiles.com

eleanor Rose Textiles bee

Elsa Moro – Sculptured paper, a difficult medium to work with and a play on texture and shadow to create dimension.  These remind me of the structures bees, wasps and other insects make from wood pulp and other natural matter to create their hives and nests. www.elista.typepad.com

Elsa Moro paper bee

Lisa Toppin – Working on printed fabrics, she embroiders in detail little bees and other insects to add a three dimension.  I love the sets of bee brooches like little bees have just landed on a button! www.agnesandcora.com

Agnes and Cora bee brooches

Kate Osborne – Soft, delicate washes build into these lovely studies of bees and wildlife.  I used to paint, but found it a hard craft with little forgiveness if you got a brushstroke wrong.  Too much fiddling and it turns muddy, as my art tutor used to say.  I turned to photography and still have a tinge of envy for anyone who can master the watercolour. www.kateosborneart.com

Kate Osborne watercolour bees

I hope you enjoyed a buzz around these artists websites. It was an enjoyable post to write. ♥

Is this friendly bee a Short Haired Bumblebee?

We are temporarily living in Woolwich, not far from the ferry that crosses the River Thames.  Whilst out photographing one summer afternoon, we spotted some rough ground full of overgrown wild shrubs smothered with bees.  Lots of competition to get the nectar and sometimes squabbles over one flower head, but amidst the buzz, one very large bee who seemed to be taking its time.  No rush, in fact at one point we though it had just dozed off.  Quite content for us to point and shoot for over half an hour, we took liberties to get closer and closer and eventually got this lovely shot.

But what stood out the most with this bee was the size and laid back attitude, long legs with barbed feet and inquisitive looks.

A few months later, whilst browsing through the RSPB website articles and other local news, found a website http://www.bumblebeereintroduction.org, which detailed about a bee that had apparently disappeared dramatically in 1988 and declared extinct in 2000.  Could this be our bee?  The bee was in Sweden and it was decided that queens from there should be taken back to England in 2013, released near Dungeness in Kent after quarantine, and slowly replenish the 850 hectares of established wildflower being cultivated there.

There are some very interesting videos on the web about this Shorted Haired Bumblebee reintroduction and it is hoped they will settle and find their way along the coast.  Could we have one in Woolwich – I do hope so! ♥