A new bumblebee

I pay attention to bumblebees since they are the most important potato pollinators. I haven’t seen this one before. There are three species that are very common here and another three that I see on occasion, but this is a first. I think it might be Bombus melanopygus, the black tailed bumblebee. It has been interesting to watch the change in pollinator populations in the time that I have been growing here. Bumblebees used to be uncommon, but the number of bees and number of species that I have observed has increased a lot over the years. This one was working Valparaiso potato flowers.


I’ve only just started thinking about bumble bees this year because I’ve noticed a bunch of them that seem more orange than yellow, particularly on my comfrey, which seems new, but I’m not sure. I think this has inspired me to start taking pictures of them so that I can compare across seasons.

Good shot!

I get a lot of bumblebees & mason bees ever since the demise of honeybees. I’ll try to pay more attention to which species.