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Bombus terrestris

Bombus terrestris
Photo Information
Copyright: Thijs van Balen jr (Pentaxfriend) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 514 W: 24 N: 1888] (8048)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-09-18
Categories: Insects
Camera: Pentax K20D, Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Macro 1:1, ISO 100, 55mm B+W Skylight KR1,5
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-09-20 22:27
Viewed: 3889
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Apinae
Genus: Bombus
Species: B. terrestris
Binomial name: Bombus terrestris

Bombus terrestris, the buff-tailed bumblebee or large earth bumblebee is one of the most numerous bumblebee species in Europe. They are characterized by their white-ended abdomens. The queen is 22.7 cm long, while the workers are 12 cm.

Such bees can navigate their way back to the nest from a distance as far away as 13 kilometres (8.1 mi).
Life Cycle :
The first bumblebees to be seen in spring are the queens the queen is the only bumblebee to hibernate through the winter. The queen is much bigger than the workers,which appear later. As soon as the queen has found some nectar, to replenish her energy reserves, she starts looking for a suitable site to build her nest.

The nest site is usually underground, an abandoned mouse burrow is often used. Inside, the queen first builds a nectar pot, which will sustain her during bad weather. She also begins to build up a pollen larder, which will feed her brood.

The queen then lays a small batch of eggs. Once these hatch she tends the larvae, feeding them with nectar and pollen. When the larvae are grown they pupate, and about 2 weeks later the first worker bumblebees emerge. These workers will forage for nectar and pollen for the colony, and tend later generations of larvae. The queen can now concentrate on egg laying and does not need to leave the nest again. The workers are smaller than the queen, and will only live for a few weeks

Towards the end of summer the queen lays some unfertilised eggs which develop into male bees. Some eggs are also laid which receive extra food and pupate to become new queens. When the males emerge from the nest they do not return, foraging only for themselves. They seek out the new queens and mate with them.

When the autumn cold weather sets in, all but the young queens will die. The latter seek out a safe place to hibernate, they are the only ones to survive the winter.

More info

De gewone aardhommel (Bombus terrestris) is een aardhommel, die in heel Nederland voorkomt.

De wilgenhommel (Bombus cryptarum) en de veldhommel of kleine aardhommel (Bombus lucorum) zijn moeilijk te onderscheiden van de grote aardhommel. Allemaal hebben ze een borststuk waarvan het voorste deel geel en de rest zwart behaard is. Het voorstuk (tweede rugplaat) van het achterlijf is geel behaard, het tussenstuk zwart en het einde van het achterlijf is ook wit behaard. Mannetjes hebben wat meer gele haren op de kop en het eerste achterlijfsegment. De beharing is kort en regelmatig. De aardhommel heeft een korte tong ongeveer evenlang als die van de bijen. Als de aardhommel niet bij de nectar kan komen breekt deze in door aan de onderkant van de bloemkroon een gaatje te bijten. Het nest zit in de grond en kan tot anderhalve meter diep liggen. Kraken van het nest komt veel voor. Kraken wil zeggen dat een andere koningin de koningin probeert dood te steken om zo het nest over te nemen. De aardhommel slaat het stuifmeel op in toevallig leegstaande broedcellen en is te vinden op vele planten. In het begin van het jaar op de wilg en later in het jaar veel op distels, klaver en vingerhoedskruid. Een volgroeide kolonie van de aardhommel bestaat uit zo'n 300 tot 600 werksters.

De koningin van de gewone aardhommel is 20-23, de werkster 11-17 en het mannetje 14-16 mm lang. De spanwijdte van de koningin is zeer groot, soms wel tot 43 mm. De vrouwtjes van wilgenhommel zijn van de ander aardhommels te onderscheiden doordat de gele band op de voorzijde van het borststuk met een knik (hockeystick-achtige vorm) onder de vleugel doorloopt en de kleur meer goudgeel is. De nestzoekende koninginnen zijn te zien van begin februari tot midden mei, de werksters van midden april tot midden oktober en de jonge koninginnen en mannetjes van eind juli tot eind september.

De gewone aardhommel verschilt van de kleine aardhommel of veldhommel vooral in de strepen, van deze laatste zijn de strepen helder- of citroengeel. De strepen van de gewone aardhommel zijn donkerder en meer okergeel.


Exposure time 1/125 s
F-number f/10
Exposure program Aperture priority
ISO speed ratings ISO 100
Date/time original 18-9-2008 15:23:53
Exposure bias value 0.00 eV
Metering mode Center weighted average
Focal length 90 mm
White balance Auto white balance
Contrast Normal
Saturation Normal
Sharpness Normal

elizabeth, cicindela, Argus, angela926, goutham_ramesh, nglen has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

hello thjis,
we are neighbours today, this is a fine macro shot, i liked the way you have composed the shot giving good space to the beautiful flowers, sharp image with good details,
well done,
tfs & regards

A crisp shot with good detail and excellent composition. The colours are nicely saturated which add to the impact of this image which is accompanied by very good informative notes.

Hello Thijs!
Nice capture of Bombus species, I like both sharpness and colours in this photo. Lov POV allow to see many details of this insect and note includes a lot of interesting data about it :)
TFS and have a nice afternoon,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-21 7:53]

Hello Thijs,
This is an excellent macro of a Bombus terrestris taken from a fine POV with great sharpness while she is seeking nectar on the Sedum flower. The composition is pleasing too.
Though this is a common species it is not often we see such a fine presentation of it and thanks for sharing it.

Hello Thijs,
Great capture of this pretty bumblebee, superb sharpness
and depth of field, excellent composition and pov,
amazing details, beautiful colors, nice contrast
and good light. lovely oof background.

Hi "Thijs Uncle :-)"
This is very good picture of bummble bee. The clarity and colors are signature of yours as always.I love the colors in this pic.
Convey my regards, Rene ,Paula and little Rob.
Goutham R

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-09-24 13:01]

Hi Thijs
very nice colors and composistion
very good sharp
well done.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-09-27 9:54]

Hi Thijs. A very good close up of the BEE. They are not that easy to get in focus because are always on the move. But you have done it with fine detail and rich colours. well done TFS.

Hello Thijs,

Beautiful composition. Excellent POV, DOF and sharpness. Superb light and colours. Not an easy insect to photography. I have tried a little bit this year, but I have to progress a lot.

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