Zoom in on this bees thorax to see a pair of mites (click for full size).
A close inspection reveals several mites, if one looks very carefully. This photograph of a humble bee taken near Loch Ness.
The full range of mites’ effects on bumblebees are varied and largely unknown, but run the gamut from parasitism to potential specialised mutualisms.. The above photos are headed to Bee Watch, a citizen science venture at Aberdeen University in association with the BumbleBee Conservation Trust