Size: Varies per species, but adults may grow over 1 inch in length.
Color: Black and yellow, red, or orange.
In general, bees are some of the most important creatures on earth and are incredibly beneficial when it comes to pollination. They are essential for pollinating plants, and a healthy bumblebee population improves those of other species such as solitary bees, honeybees, hoverflies, butterflies, ground beetles, and ladybirds. It is imperative to maintain bumblebee populations.
Though they are beneficial to the environment and contribute to humanity’s betterment, they can sometimes become a nuisance and a threat when they are located on your property or even inside of your home. Precautionary measures need to be taken to as a means of protecting your family and pets when bumblebees have invaded your home or your property. Learning about the behavior of bumblebees can help you manage them better.
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What Are Bumblebees?
There are many different species of bumblebees, with over 250 being in the genus Bombus. Most bumblebees are social creatures and create colonies centered around a single queen. These colonies are considerably smaller than that of honeybees ranging from 50 to 400 individuals. A queen bumblebee emerges in early spring to begin constructing a new nest.
After the outer layer has been completed, she makes a wax cell to lay her first egg batch. She uses her body to incubate the eggs until they hatch. Before laying the eggs, the queen creates wax containers housing nectar and pollen, and the firstborn bee larvae will eat these provisions. The bumblebee larvae mature into adult worker bees and help build the nest, collect food, and tend to the young. In mid to late summer, the queen will lay eggs with fertile males and females.
When these fertile offspring mature, they will mate, and the fertile females will leave the colony to find a protected site for overwintering. Bumblebee colonies only use a nest once before abandoning it and restarting the process the following spring. When flowers and plants bloom in the spring, you will begin to notice bumblebees foraging for nectar and pollen, flying from one flowering vegetation to the next. This is a crucial process that ensures the pollination of crops, flowers, and natural wild vegetation.
Bumblebees are among the most important pollinators on earth as their incessant buzzing encourages plants to release their pollen through vibration. This is called buzz pollination and is due to bumblebees beating their wings more than 130 times per second. When buzz pollination occurs, plants typically produce more fruit. They are a valuable resource that needs to be preserved. Without bumblebees, food would not grow.
What Do Bumblebees Look Like?
If you see a fuzzy, black, and yellow bee that’s rather large, you are most likely looking at a bumblebee. There are instances when bumblebees are red or orange as well. Most bumblebee workers are 0.25 to 1 inch in length, while queens are 0.75 to 1 inch in length. Their long fuzzy hairs display their bright colors, and they have stubby wings compared to their bodies.
Each of the back two legs of the bumblebee has a pollen basket used to carry pollen when the adults are foraging for the colony. Females are the only ones to have stingers, and their abdomen is more pointed. Males, having no stinger, have a more rounded abdomen. Though they are easily identified, they are often confused with other types of insects such as carpenter bees and black wasps.
Where Do Bumblebees Live?
Flagstaff, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada, are only two of the locations that Bulwark Extermination services where bumblebees can become a nuisance. When in their natural habitat, you will typically see bumblebee nests located in protected, hidden, and dry cavities at ground level or underground. Ideal locations include structure voids, abandoned rodent holes, under woodpiles, abandoned birds’ nests, under compost piles, or piles of dead leaves. If they take up residence in your home, they will use entryways and create nests in walls, crawlspaces, basements, or attics.
Common Problems With Bumblebees
Though bumblebees aren’t as aggressive as yellow jackets, hornets, and other stinging insects in general, they are not to be messed with. They won’t go out of their way to chase you down and sting you, but if you were to handle them or threaten their nest, they would defend it without question. Males have no stinger, but females do, and unlike honeybees, bumblebee females can sting multiple times.
People without allergic sensitivity to a bumblebee sting will experience a painful reaction that is short-lived. Children, the elderly, and those with allergic sensitivity are more likely to have severe reactions such as itchiness, redness at the sting site, and swelling for hours or days. The severity of an allergic reaction is dependent on the person’s sensitivity to the venom and the number of stings. The result of a sting can be anaphylactic shock or a systemic allergic reaction affecting the whole body. If a bumblebee stings you or someone you know, you should always seek out medical care.
How To Get Rid of Bumble Bees
Dealing with a bumblebee infestation should be left to a professional pest control agency such as Bulwark Exterminating. The preservation of bumblebees should be the top priority unless they pose an imminent threat to you, your family, and your pets. One measure you can take to prevent bumblebees from nesting in your yard is to reduce ground covers such as dead leaves and woodpiles. To keep them out of your home, you should seal any cracks, crevices, or holes found in your home’s foundations, around windows, in walls, and around doors.
Remember that bumblebees are crucial to food production in the United States and the world. Protecting them is of the utmost importance, but there are circumstances where they have to be eliminated to protect your family and your pets from potentially deadly attacks. Consulting a professional before attempting to manage bumblebees on your own may yield results where no harm comes to you or the bumblebees.