Bumble Bees (Bombus)

Bumble Bees

  • Name: Bombus
  • Rank: genus
  • Parent ID: 538883

A bumblebee (also written bumble bee) is a member of the genus Bombus, part of Apidae, one of the bee families. This genus is the only extant group in the tribe Bombini, though a few extinct related genera (e.g., Calyptapis) are known from fossils. Over 250 species of bumblebee are known. They are found primarily in higher altitudes or latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, although they are also found in South America where a few lowland…


ID: 52775

Description of Bumblebees:

Bumblebees are fuzzy, round insects inhabiting temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere. There are more than 250 species of bees, with the largest being an inch and a half long. A distinguishing feature is their furry, brightly colored bodies which help ward off predators. And, unlike honeybees, bumblebees don’t need to store food for winter as they live only one year, at most.

Bumblebees are one of the most important pollinators present in the world today. They are excellent at spreading pollen and fertilizing many different types of wild plants, as well as important agricultural crops like blueberries, tomatoes, and squash. One key distinction of a bumblebee is that they can fly in cooler temperatures than other bees. This trait makes it well suited for pollinating mountainous habitats, coastal plains, and even Arctic tundra.

Identification Characteristics

Size: Bumblebees are generally larger than many other bee species. Their size can range from small to medium, with the queen bees being the largest individuals, measuring up to 22 millimeters (0.9 inches) in length, while workers and males are slightly smaller.

Coloration: Bumblebees exhibit striking and distinct color patterns, usually consisting of black and yellow or black and orange markings. However, some species may have different combinations of colors, including white, red, or brown. The specific color patterns vary between species and can also exhibit some variation within species.

Fuzzy Appearance: Bumblebees have dense, fuzzy hair covering their bodies, which provides insulation and helps them collect and distribute pollen. The hair is often longer and more abundant compared to other bee species, giving them a fluffy or furry appearance.

Head: The head of a bumblebee is relatively large and wider than its thorax. The head is usually black with the face exhibiting a yellow or orange coloration. The compound eyes are prominent and located on the sides of the head.

Wings: Bumblebees, like other bees, have two pairs of wings. The wings are transparent and relatively large in proportion to their body size. When at rest, the wings fold longitudinally along the body.

Body: The body of a bumblebee is stout and robust. It consists of three main segments: the head, thorax, and abdomen. The abdomen is typically covered in dense hairs and often displays bands or stripes of different colors. The number and arrangement of these bands can vary between species.

Social Behavior: Bumblebees are social insects that live in colonies. Each colony consists of a queen, workers, and males. The queens are usually the largest individuals and are responsible for laying eggs. The workers are smaller and help with tasks such as foraging and caring for the brood. The males are typically smaller than the queens and workers.

It’s important to note that there are numerous species within the genus Bombus, and their specific characteristics can vary. Detailed identification may require examination of additional features, such as the presence of specific hairs, the shape of the mouthparts, and the patterns on the wings and legs. Consulting a field guide or seeking guidance from entomologists can be helpful in accurately identifying bumblebee species.

Bumblebee Life Cycle: Facts And Pictures About The Bumblebees Of Colorado

What are bumblebees?

Bumblebees are a type of bee that is native to the Colorado area. There are many different types of bumblebees, but the most common in Colorado is the Bombus griseocollis. Bumblebees are important pollinators of many plants and flowers. They are also an important part of the ecosystem, as they help to control populations of other insects.

The life cycle of a bumblebee begins when a queen bee emerges from her winter hibernation. She will then mate with one or more drones before beginning to build her nest. The queen will lay her eggs inside the nest and care for them until they hatch into larvae. The larvae will then spin cocoons and pupate inside them. After a few weeks, they will emerge as adult bees.

Adult bumblebees will spend their time gathering nectar and pollen from flowers. They will also take part in pollinating these flowers as they feed. When fall arrives, the queen bees will begin to produce new queens and drones. These new bees will then leave the nest to mate and start their own colonies next spring.

How to identify bumblebees

Bumblebees are large, hairy bees that are important pollinators of many crops and wildflowers. They are relatively easy to identify, even when they are in flight. Look for a bee that is about the size of a thumbnail with a round body and furry appearance. The colors of bumblebees can vary, but they are usually black with yellow stripes.

Life cycle of a bumblebee

Bumblebees are one of the most interesting and important insects in the world. Not only are they essential pollinators, but they also have an amazing life cycle. Here are some facts and pictures about the bumblebees of Colorado.

The life cycle of a bumblebee begins when a queen bee emerges from her winter hibernation. She will then mate with a drone bee and start to build a nest. Once the nest is built, the queen will lay her eggs and raise her young. After a few weeks, the larvae will pupate and emerge as adult bees. The bees will then start to forage for food and pollinate flowers. Eventually, the queen will die and the colony will disperse.

Source: https://minnetonkaorchards.com/honey-bee-life-cycle/

Bumblebee myths and facts

Bees are amazing creatures and play an important role in the life cycle of many plants. Bumblebees are no exception! Here are some myths and facts about these fascinating insects.

Myth: Bumblebees are aggressive.

Fact: While bumblebees can sting, they are not naturally aggressive and will only do so if they feel threatened. If you leave them alone, they will likely leave you alone as well!

Myth: Bumblebees are attracted to sweet smells.

Fact: Bumblebees actually prefer the smell of pollen over sweet smells. They use their sense of smell to locate flowers that have pollen so they can collect it for their hive.

Myth: All bees live in hives.

Fact: Only social bees, like honeybees, live in hives. Bumblebees are solitary creatures and each bee lives on its own.


Colorado is home to a variety of bumblebees, each with their own unique life cycle. By understanding the life cycle of these bees, we can better appreciate the important role they play in our ecosystems. We hope this article has helped you learn more about these amazing creatures and inspired you to want to protect them.