Quite a good day of ‘firsts’ today – drove down to Whitstable and saw my first brimstone butterfly of the year, fluttering along by the roadside. Saw three swallows swooping over Tankerton slopes, (or maybe the same swallow three times), and heard my first chiffchaff in the trees down there.
There was also something weird going on with this queen white-tailed bumble bee in a clump of celandine. There was a group of smaller bees that were hovering around, and every now and then, one would swoop down and touch the queen briefly, then fly off again. I don’t know if they were drones; they certainly weren’t hanging around long enough to be mating. I wondered if they were stinging her for some reason. She looked really dopy at first, but then woke up a bit and kinds of walked off. I don’t know what was happening.