Erik Nitsche: Bumble Bee
Artist: Erik Nitsche
Bobbing from apple blossom to apple blossom, and honeysuckle to honeysuckle, handsome Buff-tailed Bumble Bees busily visit the blossoms in Britain's magnificent flower gardens. This large bee -- one of the largest of all bees -- gained its name through the lazy humming sound it makes as it flies about the garden. This unusual sound also earned the Bumble Bee its nickname of "Humble Bee." Although the Buff-tailed Bumble Bee is well-known in Britain, it is also a garden creature that can be found all over the world. The largest representation of Bumble Bee species lives in the tropical and supbtropical zones. Although it is beautiful to look at and fascinating to watch, this interesting garden aviator has many enemies. Birds, badgers ... even mice prey upon this delightful garden visitor. When attacked, the Bumble Bee will defend itself by biting and stinging. It oftens rolls on its back with its jaws wide open and stinger protruding. Sometimes the Bumble Bee will squirt venom into the air in this position. Since the creature's stinger is not barbed like the honeybee's, it can be withdrawn from an attacker. Whether spied munching clover or bobbing from blossom to blossom, the Buff-tailed Bumble Bee is one of the most endearing creature's of the garden.
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