Red-tailed bumblebees are lovely looking bees. The workers and queens as below, are jet black with a red tail. The males are similar but have a yellow band on it’s head and yellow face hairs. They are only occasional visitors to my garden but they are around at the moment, though this one was photographed on the West coast of Ireland. They have a “near-threatened” status in Ireland.
Ross Beach is one of our favoutite beaches at any time of year. With Easter falling early this year, we have had opportunity to take a few day trips. Heading to the beach is always a bit of an adventure. This time we were surprised to find that the storms over the winter have shifted sand away from the beach. This has resulted in the loss of some dunes, but also the exposure of a more pebbles and stones in one area.
There was time for some beach-combing and even castle building.
The horses and their riders were also enjoying the freedom of a long beach. Like us, the horses had a paddle, they did not seem to notice that the water was FREEZING!
The bumblebees have been around for about a week. But it was only yesterday that I saw them feeding on the willow tree in the garden. Willow is an important early pollen source for bumblebee queens coming out of hibernation. This is what they are after.
There appears to two bees, the White-tailed bumble and the Buff tailed bumble. These are usually the first bees we see here in the west.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
We usually attend the Saint Patrick’s day parade in one of the local town’s with the children’s school, but this year they decided they wanted a break. It was a dry day, but bitterly cold with a blustery easterly wind.
Avoiding towns we headed toward the Nephin Wilderness Area (Wild Nephin). It is a rather grand title for what is 11,000 hectares of planted forest and upland agricultural land, though admittedly there is also plenty bogs, heaths, lakes, rivers and mountains.
The landscape is stunning. There is plenty to see, particularly if you like walking or cycling. The area includes much of the Nephin Beg Mountain Range, which is a beautiful but little explored part of Ireland.