While I was watching the mother with her young at the burrow a biiig male came over and started to court the mother. I was surprised she did not chase him off - no, she sniffed him very softly, "kissing" him. She even went off to gather more food leaving the big male with her young. Seems she was confident that he would not attack her pups.
I was very surprised by this behaviour because European hamsters are not social, they are solitary like Syrians and can be quite fierce (note the torn ears of the male - he had obviously been in several fights).
If you are interested to use any of my images please contact me and ask.