|A beautiful Humble bee in my garden|
Bombus pascuorum (Common Carder-bee) on red clover
As most bumblebees are ground dwellers their existence depends upon the population of nest destroying mice whose population depends on the subsequent population of predatory cats. Therefore, the greater the population of cats the greater the number of bumblebees and the greater the pollination of red clover. We must also consider the negative effect of cat predation on birds, amphibians and reptiles. This is why an ecosystem functioning in equilibrium (balanced populations) is so important. In the following excerpt from "On the Origin of the Species" Darwin refers to the bumblebee as the humble-bee which was the original and common term for the bumblebee prior to World War I. I think I prefer humble bee.
|Left Bombus Mixtus (Male) and right Bomus Caliginosus or Bombus Vosnesenskii on a sunflower in my garden|
|My favorite an Orange Rumped Humble Bee (Bombus melanopygus) enjoying a cranesbill geranium in my garden|