A visit to the lower terrace of the Common gave the opportunity to observe a number of bee species visiting the numerous thistle flowers. Although the majority of which were Red-tailed Bumblebee, I was treated to good views of a slightly faded Vestal Cuckoo Bee.
Vestal Cuckoo Bees are kleptoparasites of the Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). The female cuckoo bee will enter the Bombus terrisitris nest and kill the queen. She will then lay her own eggs to be reared by the Bombus terrestris workers.
Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) - worker
Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) - male
Vestal Cuckoo Bee (Bombus vestalis)
Of interest during the visit were a small number of Leafcutter Bees (Megachilie sp.) that were visiting the thistles.
A Field Grasshopper was also recorded. This individual was of a different colour form to the one shown in my previous blog post.
Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus)