On Jun 25, 2013, RosinaBloom from Waihi
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:
This Bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) is characterized by its white-ended abdomen and looks - apart from its yellowish bands being darker - in direct comparison to the other three species in NZ namely Bombus hortorum, Bombus ruderatus and Bombus subterraneus which were introduced here in1885 and 1906 to pollinate red clover.
Four species were imported before it was realised that bumblebees tongue length differs from species to species. The most wide spread species in New Zealand, the large earth bumblebee Bombus terrestris was found to have the shortest “tongue” rendering it less effective for pollinating red clover. The other three species have the longest “tongues”. Their longer tongues can reach inside red clover flowers, which the shorter-tongued honeybees cannot do although they ... read more