Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A name given to several species of large bees of the genus Bombus, especially the European Bombus muscorum, from their habit of carding and plaiting the moss with which their nests are constructed. When building, the bees form a line from the nest to the moss which is to be used, all of them facing toward the moss. The first bee bites off some sprigs of moss, cards and rolls it with the jaws and feet, and passes it to the second, who further manipulates it before passing it to the third, and so on until the material reaches the nest, where other bees are employed in felting and plaiting the bits with wax into a dome-like form made to harmonize with the irregularities of the ground, so that it is hardly distinguishable. In the beginning of the year the bees work singly, each female starting a new colony.
“Evidence: The Joint Nature Conservation Committee currently lists seven species of bumblebee with "priority" status under the UK's Biodiversity Action Plan: the great yellow bumblebee, brown-banded carder-bee, moss carder bee, red-shanked carder bee, large garden bumblebee, short-haired bumblebee and shrill carder bee.”
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