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Moray, Scotland Sco

Dead bees.
We have just returned from a super day at Thorp Perrow arboratum in N Yorks. It is a great place to visit but at just one spot we found a large number of dead bumble bees.
They were on a path passing between a mature beech tree and a mature lime tree (but I don't know if this information is significant). Upon inspection we found that the fore-quarters of the bee was whole, and sometimes still alive, but the rear 'sac' had been eaten away along with any contents!
Does anyone recognise what I am talking about - presumable a predator of some sort?



That is a shame, can't say I've noticed anything similar. According to parasites are the major predators of bees.
Worth having a look to see if you can find more info.

19 Aug, 2013


The queens and drones of Bombus species are in flight now and it is a pretty vicious affair for the drones. Quite possibly they are mated drones that have been mutilated in the struggle. They have evolved to die almost immediately after mating anyway.

The young queens also kill the older ones if they can.

19 Aug, 2013


Gosh I've never seen this before - thanks Buddlejagar!

19 Aug, 2013


Nature is cruel. As soon as the killing starts on the
David Attenborough programmes I switch off.

20 Aug, 2013


Lime trees flowered about a month ago. The nectar is important to bees, especially honey bees, but it has a narcotic effect, and many bumble bees die as a result of feeding on it. The time scale is about right. I expect what you saw was the after effects, and other insects (especially wasps) have benefitted from the windfall, clearing up the dead bees, obviously taking their juiciest bits (!) leaving the crunchy bits for you to ponder over

20 Aug, 2013


So, possibly a more complex reason than I first thought. Thank you Buddlejagar and Worthy1 for your inputs.

20 Aug, 2013


It's a rough tough world out there. We've got it pretty easy. Not to be a drone, eh, second time round!

20 Aug, 2013


Thats interesting about the Lime Trees. Do the people
researching the loss of Bees know about this ?

21 Aug, 2013

How do I say thanks?

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