The humble bumble
I finally feel that spring has arrived. You might wonder why. After all, meteorological spring was the first of March and the official beginning of spring was the 20th, so why now? Well, I just saw my first bumblebee, and it is never truly spring until I see one of those cute wee fuzzbutts!
I adore bumblebees and have learned a lot about them from, in my opinion, leading expert Prof. Dave Goulson. He was my lecturer in Stirling University, and he set of a passion for bumbles that remains with me today.
When I first began working with high school students, I felt that they weren’t interested in a thing I said about nature, and I was struggling to figure out how to engage with them. Imagine a group of 15 sullen teenagers more interested in their phones than nature – shocking I know.
When we finished our walk, we all sat and had a cup of tea using the Kelly Kettle and as we did that a wasp began to climb my leg. Of course the students were all in a tizz. Personally I’m not a great fan of wasps, having been stung a couple of times by them, but I had to remain calm and professional while this wee terror proceeded to crawl down the trouser leg, over the sock and then back up my leg on the inside of my trousers!
I began to tell them about wasps and how they are important as pest control, and how apparently the queen carries the yeast that has a lot to do with beer production, so without her…
We then got onto bumblebees. Well at this point I was in my element. But that is a story for next time…