When a book would be better than the Internet

I’ve just seen a lovely bumblebee in the garden. I like these fuzzy-bottomed creatures, but I’ve never seen one quite like this one – a slightly tapered bum (abdomen, I think) with three distinct amber-coloured stripes around the tip. The problem I have is that I’d like to know what type of bumblebee it is and whether I’ve spotted something rare or unusual. It’s this sort of thing that shows the limitations of the internet. If I had a book of insects, I could open the page of bees and compare all the different sorts until I spotted an illustration that best represented the creature I saw. However, the net relies on me making a search using the name of the creature I am seeking (looking for "bumblebees" is too vague). Wikipedia only offers a detailed description of the most common species.

Any suggestions? I’ve had a similar problem when I’ve spotted an unusual butterfly or moth. Birds are another group of creatures where I go straight to the bookshelf first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *