A busy buff-tailed bumblebee on purple heliotrope flowers

I do enjoy bumblebees - their big hairy bodies and apparently slower flight give the impression that they are much calmer than the zippy focused honey bee.  And their movements can appear rather comical and awkward - they do seem to bumble along.  This one has been busy - it has collected a large clump of orange pollen on its hind leg, in what is often called the "pollen basket."

In addition to the pleasure I get from noticing and photographing, I enjoy learning new things. 

I didn't know that bumblebees belong to the genus Bombus (I love how that name fits them) and they come from the Northern Hemisphere and South America.  They were introduced here - four species of bumblebee were brought to New Zealand in 1885 and 1906 specifically to pollinate red clover, the first time any country imported an insect for this purpose.  The large earth bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, is the most widespread species here.  It is also called the buff-tailed bumblebee.  So that is what this one is, and why the stripe on the end of its hairy abdomen looks paler than I expected! 

Another pleasure - the wonderful vanilla-spice scent of the purple heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens), which comes from Peru and is also called cherry pie plant.  I have never had a cherry pie, so don't know what it would smell like.  But these flowers smell lovely to me. 

The bee also seemed to find these flowers very attractive - I had a happy time watching its bumbling busy-ness, a feeling that is very familiar to me at present.