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Varroa/Deformed Wing Virus

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PaleoPerson 

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A visitor to the garden today showing signs that all is not well. Not sure if it is the result of Varroa or Deformed Wing Virus, but sad to see anyway. Apart from the wings, it seemed to be in very good health, busy feeding on garden flowers.

I think this one is Bombus terrestris, common names Large Earth Humble Bee, Buff-tailed Humle Bee or Buff-tailed Bumblebee.

Having not looked into a bumblebee's nest, I can only assume that they must be heaven for the varroa mite due to the size of the larvae.
 
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I am not aware varroa has been recorded on bumble bees but they do suffer more than their share of other parasites, including various mites and flies which lay their eggs in them and thus are eaten from the inside out.

I can only assume this bee must be walking between flowers, which suggests its nest is quite close or else it has just suffered an attack by a bird. Either way it is not long for this world and will be heading for the Great Bee-House in the sky soon.

The condition has been seen before. See http://www.bugsandweeds.co.uk/bees.html#RedBumBee

and http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/f...ed-tailed-bumble-bee-have-deformed-wings.html
 
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PaleoPerson 

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Yes, she was walking/running between plants. It is amazing how much distance they can cover. Heading in a straight line from one plant to another with over ten metres between them at times. She knew exactly where she wanted to go.

The nest was close by in a neighbours garden and was very busy all summer. In total I had at least 5 species of Bumble visit, including the Shrill Carder which was an unexpected visitor.
 

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