Country Corner

A Tree Bumblebee, photographed by Abbie Marland from Longniddry
A Tree Bumblebee, photographed by Abbie Marland from Longniddry

There is great excitement among bumblebee fans locally.

We have a new species on the block!

Tree bumblebees only arrived down south a few years ago, having flown over from the continent.

Despite finding itself in 
an unfamiliar country, the species began a rapid colonisation.

I have for some time been familiar with it in my daughter’s Cheshire garden, where it is at times the most common bumblebee to be seen.

Only in recent months has tree bumblebee reached Scotland.

This week’s picture is from Abbie Marland, who has them in her garden near Longniddry. I have also heard of reports from several other sites.

Here is the chance for Country Corner readers to get involved in some citizen science. Look at Abbie’s photo and commit to memory the deep tawny thorax, black abdomen and whitish tail.

Email your Mid and East Lothian sightings to me via the editor.

Perhaps we can help map the spread of a new species across our area.

The bee is even known to have a liking for nesting in bird nest boxes and has a
great liking for many garden flowers.

I suspect some of you may already be hosting this charismatic insect without realising it.

So, get into your gardens and local parks in search of bumblebees.

Who knows, you may meet the new kid on the block!