Asian honey bees on Calla lilies

The Eastern honey bee, or Asian honey bee (Apis cerana), is endemic to much of Asia where has been cultivated for honey production for millenia. It is fairly similar to the European, or Western honey bee (Apis mellifera), but is slightly smaller and its flight is faster and more erratic. They are less domesticated and produce less…

A big black, beautiful bumblebee!

I came across this very attractive bumblebee feeding on Fuchsia flowers in the gardens of the King chedi on Doi Inthanon, northern Thailand. It really is a lovely bumblebee; the beautiful, dark brownish black body is offset by hairy golden legs and honey-coloured wings. The scientific name for this bumblebee is ‘Bombus (Melanobombus) eximius formerly in subgenus Rufipedibombus‘! Known…

Resin bugs: walking sticky traps

Reduvid bugs (Reduvioidea) – of which there are more than 7,000 named species – have evolved a diverse range of structural and behavioral adaptations to enable them to capture prey (4), including the application of sticky substances (“sticky traps”) to their forelegs by so-called resin bugs. Such ‘sticky trap predation’ is known from species in both the…

Bumblebee grooming

Looking at this photograph of a bumblebee with a sprinkling of pollen grains on its head, made me wonder, how often do they groom themselves? Some bumblebees get absolutely covered in pollen! Here’s one grooming himself on the flower-head of an aster (below). Bumblebees often groom themselves whilst flying between flowers – talk about multi-tasking!…