Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


The bumblebee is a flying insect of the genus Bombus in the family Apidae. Like the common honeybee, of which it is a distant relative, the bumblebee feeds on nectar and gathers pollen to feed its young. Bumblebees tend to be larger than other members of the bee family. Most, but not all, bumblebee species are gentle.

Bumblebees usually live in hollow spaces underground where they will raise larvae and store food. They sometimes also nest in birdhouses, bales of hay, or building walls. They particularly like the stuffing of old furniture or car seats and may thus move into junked cars or dumped upholstered furniture.

Unlike honeybees, bumblebees store only a few day's food and so are much more vulnerable to food shortages. Bumblebee nests are not carried through the winter. The last generation of summer includes a number of queens which overwinter separately in protected spots.1

Bumblebees are in danger in many developed countries due to habitat destruction and collateral pesticide damage.

In Britain, there are 21 species of native bumblebee and six varieties of cuckoo bees - bees that dupe other bumblebees into looking after their young. Of these, only six bumblebees remain widespread. Five are in serious decline and at least three are extinct. 1

Common species of Bumblebee include: Bumblebees are increasingly cultured and used for pollination. They are the pollinator of choice for modern greenhouse tomatoes and some other crops.

Table of contents
1 See also
2 Reference
3 External links

See also


External links