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What Distinguishes Bumblebees From Other Species of Bees?

Bumblebees are known to be fairly larger and hairier than their cousins the Honey Bee. These social bees have originated from their genus name, bombus, which comes from the Latin word booming. They have a full caste system of queens, workers and reproductives that cooperate to meet the needs of the colony.

The queen is typically the only bee that stays alive all year, while the others die off in the colder months. Bumblebees usually start appearing around May and extend their visits until late October. On average there are around 50-500 bumblebees that live in a nest, this number varies depending on the size and location of the nest.

different species of bees bumble bees honey bees

Can Bumblebees Sting?

Many people believe that bumblebees don’t sting; in fact, bumblebees do sting and they can do it as many times as they wish. Honey bees can only sting a victim once because their stinger gets stuck in the skin of an individual and causes them to die.

Unlike honey bees, bumblebee stingers lack barbs, allowing them to remove their stinger from the flesh of their victim and attack again. Bumblebees are less likely to sting compared to other bees, they only find it necessary when they are protecting themselves or their hive. Male bumblebees don’t have a stinger, female bumblebee do the stinging, protecting their hive.

Bumblebees vs. Honeybees

Most people are often confused between the differences of the bumblebee and the Honeybee. Here are very distinctive dissimilarities of the two species of bees:

• Bumblebees have a fat and furry appearance
• Honeybees are smaller and have a slim appearance

• Bumblebees live in nests with 50 to 500 bees
• Honeybees live in hives of around 50,000 to 60,000 bees

• Only the queen Bumblebee hibernates underground
• The Honeybee queen and many others live in the hive all year

• The queen Bumblebee lives for one year
• The queen Honeybee can live for three-four years

• Bumblebees communicate by passing pollen between worker bees
• Honeybees use a ‘waggle dance’ to communicate

• Bumblebees do not produce a honey surplus
• Honeybees produce a honey surplus and honey comb

What Role to Bumblebees Play in Nature?

It is known that the Bumblebee is one of natures hardest working, beneficial bugs. They are pollinators, as they live amongst flowers where they feed for a long period of time. Only the right type of flowers and plants attract bumblebees.

If your garden has flowers or other plants that attract bumble bees, they will pollinate flowers, fruits and vegetables in the area. Pollination allows reproduction and growth for your garden. Without pollination humans and all of earths terrestrial ecosystem would not be able to survive.

More Facts About the Bumblebee

  • Bumblebees harvest nectar and pollen from flowering plants
  • Once they have visited a flower they will scent mark it
  • Bumblebees wings beat 130 times per second
  • Their flight muscles must be warmed to 86 degrees to fly
  • There are 250 known species of Bumblebees
  • Males do not collect pollen
  • Bumblebees are currently endangered due to lack of flowers and plants

If you have a bumblebee problem in your backyard and you’re afraid of causing any harm to the bees, then don’t hesitate to call Magical Pest Control. We will be able to control your bee problem, without destroying their habitat or your yard. To book a free bee control consultation call (905) 738-6676 today.

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