Subject: Flight of the Bumble Bee
Location: Coryell County, Texas
August 13, 2017 12:46 pm
I was pretty excited to see a bumble bee for the first time since we moved here and began planting gardens in 1999. I’ve seen one twice, alone both times. I wish the photos were clearer, but both times I saw the bee, it flew straight at my face, then up and away. I’ll keep my distance now, I do believe. 😀 Beautiful creature, though.
Photos August 8, 2017. Hot and humid, partly cloudy.
I’m not sure what kind of bumble bee it is as the differences are too subtle for me to tell. I did find this reference from Texas Parks & Wildlife: https://tpwd.texas.gov/
The bee was visiting the autumn sage (Salvia greggii), and is such a heavy insect that the blossoms sometimes fell to the ground.
We always love getting images from you, and it is distressing that this is the first Bumble Bee you have seen in your garden in 18 years. We believe, based on the nice graphics on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Bumble Bee Identification page that it is the American Bumble Bee. According to BugGuide: “Has declined severely at the northern margin of its range, where now absent from or at best very rare at many historical localities, but still routinely found in its core range to the south as evidenced by the many Bugguide images. considered by Louisiana and Texas to be a “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” (SGCN).”