Bumble Bees Tuesday November 13, 2012
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A Bit About Bumble Bees

The Bumble Bee Lifecycle

As the cool weather subsides and spring begins the strongest of the fertilized queen bumble bee begins her search for new and suitable conditions for her colony.

The early stages of forming a new colony are filled with much work for the queen, and she first must establish a location. Not all bumble bees share the same preference when it comes to nesting sites; some choose to make their nest in underground burrows, or perhaps a nice patch of grass above ground, while others inevitably find your attic or eaves quite to their liking.

Close up of Bombus Vosnesenkii Yellow-Faced Bumblebee at work in the garden

Here is a close up of Bombus Vosnesenkii
Yellow-Faced bumble bee at work in the garden

Once an area has been selected by the queen the hive construction begins. Bumble bees are known to take pre-existing rodent or bird nests and use them as a jumping off point for their own colony. During construction the queen creates wax pots to store food and wax cells to lay eggs in. She is constantly keeping busy throughout this time maintaining what she has created and foraging food for her newly arriving worker bees.

The Fate of Bumble Bees in Winter

As the second generation of worker bees begins to take flight the queen shifts her focus from foraging and hive construction to laying eggs and caring for larvae. Without unforeseen interruption the size of the worker bees becomes increasingly larger and new queens and males are produced toward the end of the season. After the new queens arrive and mature they will be mated and off in search for refuge during the winter, while the workers and drones will be more forcibly removed from the existing colony. Sadly, these workers and drones will often spend the nights on flowers or holes in the ground until their death.

Bombus vosnesenkii – Yellow-faced bumble bee

Bumblebee on Sidewalk

Single Bumble bee walking the pavement

Things You May Not Know About the Bumble Bee

    • The buzzing sound that emits from a bumble bee is not produced by their wings. It is instead created by the vibrating of their flight muscles which they often must warm up before take-off.

    • Bumble bees are important pollinators and are largely used in the production of greenhouse-grown tomatoes and strawberries.

    • Scientists have introduced a method to cause the queen to skip her winter hibernation and maintain her colony year round, which can greatly benefit in the production of certain crops.

  • While the bumble bee may be fun to look at they will sting without hesitation in defense of their colony, and can do so more than once since their stinger will remain intact.

If you happen to encounter an active bumble bee nest, don´t fret!

bumblebee nest

View of a bumble bee nest

How Hearts Pest Management Views Bumble Bees

We here at Hearts Pest Management are aware of the beneficial factors of our buzzing friends, and aim to help the bee population flourish since they play an important role in our crop production. If you locate an active nest that shows significant danger to your children or pets we´ll gladly come and help solve the problem you are facing. We will help you make a determine professionally if the situation is dangerous or if you can simply let these bees go about their business.

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