The American Bumble Bee is similar to but larger than honeybees and they don’t produce as much honey. They have black coloring just behind the wings and one to three stripes of yellow on their abdomen. They have hairs all over their yellow and black bodies with black legs that have pollen pouches to collect pollen. There are over 255 species of bumblebees which can vary in size. Adults can be up to a little over an inch long. Bumble bees are social insects that live in colonies. The colony is made up of the queen, drones and worker bees that all have specific jobs to support the colony. The queen is responsible for laying hundreds of eggs. The male drones are there to fertilize the queen and the workers all have different tasks that need to be done for the survival of the hive. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control delves more into bumble bees below.
Pollination Habits of Bumble Bees
Other animals pollinate but bumblebees are really good at it. They have wings that beat 130 times more per second. This rapid rate of beating and large bodies causes flowers to vibrate until they release pollen. This is called buzz pollination and helps plants produce more fruit. Bumble bees carry about 25% of their body weight in pollen, but some can carry up to 75% or more of their body weight! Bumble bees will forage for pollen in meadows, open fields, parks, gardens and forests. They scent mark flowers because they don’t like to visit flowers that have been visited by other bees, but they will visit the same patch of flowers. This act of scent marking lets other bees know that all the nectar is gone. Kind of nice when you think about it. Because it reduces the time bees have to probe flowers that don’t have any nectar in them anyway. Bumblebees have a habit of nectar robbing. This may be considered a form of cheating because they collect nectar from the plant without entering it and pollinating the flower. The bee crawls on the outside of the flower close to where she thinks the nectar is and bites and pokes a hole in the flower. She will then insert her tongue sheath, extend her tongue and suck up the nectar.
Do Bumble Bees Sting?
Bumble bees are less likely than hornets and yellowjackets to sting but stings can be painful and dangerous to those with allergies. The workers and the queens can sting and because they have smooth stingers. They can sting over and over again. Honey bees have a barbed stinger that is pulled out when they sting. So, honey bees will die after they sting, bumble bees will not. The good news is that they are not aggressive and are not looking to attack you unless they feel threatened.
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If you are having issues with bumblebees it’s best to contact professional pest control to take care of it. Because they are so beneficial there are ways to deal with them that may not include killing them. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control is trained to handle any kind of bee, so give us a call today!