It was a beautiful late summer/early fall day with bright sun, and white clouds sailing on a steady breeze. Along the edge of the pond several species of goldenrod were in bloom; those flowers attracted a large number of insects including several species of bumblebees.
The prettiest of the bumblebees is the tri-colored bumblebee with its yellow and black and a broad band of orange on its abdomen. Many tri-colored bumblebees were flying from flower to flower as they sought pollen.
These bees inhabit nests in cavities in the ground where they establish small colonies. The queen leaves hibernation in early spring, finds a suitable hole in the ground to begin laying eggs and feeds on flowers. The eggs develop into workers that continue foraging for the colony and tending more young. In the fall the colony begins to produce drones (males) and new queens which mate before cold weather sets in. The newly fertilized queens hibernate in the soil during cold weather while the old queen, the drones and workers die.
But about ten feet from where I took photographs of the bees another tri-colored bumblebee was locked in a life or death struggle with a marbled orb weaver spider. Here’s a short video of a much longer struggle, including its outcome –
The spider didn’t feed on either bumblebee while I watched, instead leaving them stored in its web.