Bug Index



Bumble bees are one of natures hardest working beneficial bugs. Bumblebees drink nectar and eat pollen - nothing else. They are important Pollinators. They live among flowers where they feed for long periods of time every day. Without the energy that a Bumblebee gets from eating flower nectar, it cannot fly. If a bumblebee cannot fly, then it cannot reach flowers to get more nectar and it will die. Bumblebees are vegetarian at all stages of their life. The worker bees gather pollen and nectar. Most of the pollen they collect is fed to the larva, and the workers and males only eat enough to keep on flying. The queen eats pollen to give her protein for so that she can lay eggs.

Bumblebees are large and hairy with black and yellow bodies.  Measuring from 3/4 inch up to 1 inch in length, these fuzzy insects make a loud droning buzz as they fly. Bumblebees fly more slowly and awkwardly than most bugs. They are quite gentle, though they will sting if you bother them.

When a Bumblebee is on a flower and is feeling threatened it will raise one of its middle legs. This is a sign that you are too close and should back off a bit. If you don't move away from a Bumblebee that is feeling threatened, it will sting. Only the queens and workers can sting, but they can sting more than once.

Bumble bees live in colonies and nest in soil or piles of dead leaves where a single queen lays 8 to 12 eggs in spring. Emerging workers are able to fly in very cool weather (like the early spring), making them a very valuable pollinator. Foraging worker bees use long tongues to pollinate clovers and other flowers, collecting pollen and nectar that they bring back to the hive to feed to the colony. Though bumble bees make honey, they make only enough to feed the colony


Important Facts To Know About Bumble Bees.

  • Bumblebees look a little bit like their cousins, the Honey Bee, but they are not the same. Bumble bees do not produce enough honey for farmers to sell. Bumblebees make just enough honey to feed their young.
  • Not all bumble bees have a sting. The small male worker bees that hatch in mid summer have no sting at all. These are called Drones.
  • The Bumblebee's biggest enemy is man. When we use pesticide sprays on fields and in your backyards, we are killing Bumblebees along with other insects. Like every other form of wildlife they are under serious threat from the pesticides we pour onto the land.
  • Bumble bees are much less aggressive than honey bees. Generally they will not attack a human at all unless their life is under threat. If you stand quietly and watch them they will not attack you. Once they smell that you are not a flower with pollen they will move gently away from you.
  • When a Bumblebee stings, it does not lose its stinger and die like a honey bee does. They can sting you more than once. So - don't threaten them or make them mad at you.
  • It is important for humans to encourage Bumblebees to move into gardens and farms by planting the right kinds of flowers and plants. Once Bumblebees move in, they will  pollinate all the flowers, fruits and vegetables.


Bumblebee pollinating a flower

     Bumblebee colony 2  Bumblebee colony 1
A Bumblebee colony on the ground The inside of a Bumblebee colony