When we were digging up the potatoes, this bumblebee popped up from the dirt. We moved her to the safety of the lady’s mantle to dry off/rest out of the sun/rest away from predators.
We were pretty sure she was a buff-tailed queen, but didn’t know what was all over her thorax. We didn’t know if they were eggs or creatures and whether it was a normal thing or if she was in danger. It was a Sunday, so we couldn’t just pick up the phone. I grabbed my ipad to check the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website, and see if we should be concerned. They said that sometimes bees get covered with mites but it seemed like it would be harder to see. As we read and googled some more, she decided to fly off so we couldn’t do anything else.
She did come back to the same dirt patch several times in the next hour or so; looping around the yard, up and then over to a neighbour’s. We tried to hope that she wasn’t diseased but rather going off to found a new colony, but we still don’t know. I also wondered if she belonged in the dirt so I told her it was okay to come back and we would protect a patch of soil…but that didn’t seem to help.
Looking a bit further, she may have actually been looking for hibernate in the soil, which means we disturbed her. : (
Do you have any ideas about what is on her?