Karen Powell photo Sunflowers are a great attraction for this nectar seeker. Karen Powell photo

Bee happy: nature in the Cariboo

Bumblebees are a great sight in the summer time

Sunflowers in the Cariboo sunshine are a great attraction for this nectar seeker.

According to Wikipedia, like their relatives the honeybees, bumblebees feed on nectar, using their long hairy tongues to lap up the liquid; the proboscis is folded under the head during flight. Bumblebees gather nectar to add to the stores in the nest, and pollen to feed their young.

They forage using colour and spatial relationships to identify flowers to feed from. Some bumblebees steal nectar, making a hole near the base of a flower to access the nectar while avoiding pollen transfer. Bumblebees are important agricultural pollinators, so their decline in Europe, North America, and Asia is a cause for concern. The decline has been caused by habitat loss, the mechanisation of agriculture, and pesticides.

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