I was frantically trying to hang my washing out this morning before dashing to our local home ed group, when I spotted a huge bumblebee in the grass. Stone-cold dead, I’m afraid. I’d seen it a couple of days ago crawling around the patio in an obvious I’m-about-to-cark-it kinda way. I decided to scoop it up so no small feet trod on it and got a nasty surprise. H caught me in the act and wanted to see. It was dead afterall, it must be interesting! E was then quickly summoned and she wanted to know where its sting was, what a bumblebee felt like to touch and whether she could keep it forever. I explained that it probably wouldn’t last long before falling apart. This inspired more questions…I should think before I speak! Was their dear, departed rabbit ‘falling apart’ in the ground over there? They wanted to put the bee in a pot with a lid and take it with them to show everyone. The only suitable one they could find was the one we usually keep bubble mixture in, with a hole in the lid for a wand. They decided the hole was small enough that the bee wouldn’t fall out! I even managed to print off a bumblebee identification sheet before we dashed out the door. Yes…we were late by this time! We decided that we had found a Buff-tailed Bumblebee. And very handsome he is too. Well I think its a he…I’m not too sure how you ID a queen?!
On arrival, the bee was duly paraded. E had smuggled paper and pens in a bag with her, and she settled down to draw the bee. She gave up after 3 seconds and I drew the bee. From the top- with its wings, a stripes, and from the bottom-with its huge eyes, enormously long tongue, and six intriguing legs. I then had to draw at least 6 more bee outlines for several other children to colour in…you know when you wish you hadn’t started something?!!
I have just loaded our camera with batteries, something I’ve been meaning to do for weeks. And here is the bee: