Bumble Bees

Heath-The Bumble Bee

There are more than 250 different species of bee and most of them exist in the Northern Hemisphere. They are social creatures with black and yellow hairs which are frequently arranged in stripes on the bee’s body. They may also have red or orange coloring and some bees are almost entirely black. Bumble bees look and feel fuzzy. The thick fuzzy hairs help keep bumble bees warm through the winter.
The bumble bee is a relative of the honey bee. They gather pollen which is used to nourish their young. The queen is able to store the male’s sperm from breeding in a distinctive container called the spermatheca that’s used when she is laying her eggs. Some eggs are fertilized with the sperm and these bumble bees will expand into females or queens while other eggs proceed unfertilized and become men.
Hormones stimulate the maturation of the ovaries and deficiency of hormones will suppress ovary development. In worker bees, a deficiency of hormones makes it impossible for them to replicate. Instead of being capable of replicating, worker bees have salivary glands that secrete saliva and may be mixed with the nectar and pollen that they gather from flowers. The saliva is mixed with the materials used to build the nest to make them softer.
The tongue of the bee is long and hairy. It extends from a sheath and is used to lap up fluids such as nectar. Nectar is drawn up through the tongue also through capillary action. When the bumble bee flies or rests, the tongue has been kept folded up underneath its head. Wax is secreted from an area under the abdomen. Pollen is gathered by the bumble bee in part through electrostatic charge which builds up on the bee because it’s flying through the air. When the bee lands on a flower, the electrostatic charge causes the pollen to be drawn to the bee. Though bees do not have ears, they do have the ability to feel vibrations.
The bumble bee is usually discovered more readily at higher latitudes and higher altitudes. There are some tropical species of bumble bees however. They’re also able to stay cool by radiating warmth out of their bodies through their abdomen.
Bumble bees exist in colonies that are generally smaller than that of honey bees. Mature nests of bees occasionally hold only about 50 individuals. Nests may be located under ground in tunnels made by other animals. They often build a waxy protective canopy which can help insulate the colony through the winter season. A queen bumble bee from a colony will often survive the winter and then build a new colony in the warmer spring months are she emerges from hibernation. She collects pollen and nectar from flowers and then finds a suitable location for the nest to begin the cycle all over again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *