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What We Know About Bumblebees

Jennifer Smith

Posted on May 28 2019

There are over 250 species of bumblebees that have existed on this planet for over 40 million years. They are fluffier, fatter and generally calmer than other types of bees and produce less honey for their own food.  

While they can be aggressive if they feel their nest is threatened, they will generally leave people alone, unlike their cousin honeybees. They can also use their stinger multiple times without much harm to themselves and there sting is less harmful due to lack of barbs. 

Bumblebees are found all across the United States in grassy and wooded areas as well as prairies, marshes, farms and sand dunes. 

Unlike honeybees, bumblebees are attracted to plants with narrow corolla tubes, such as blueberries and cranberries. They mainly forage for pollen rather than nectar, and transfer more pollen to the pistils with each visit. Growers of these types of plants need to keep away wildlife in order to help bumblebees pollinate. Without the help from pollinators, the foods we eat cannot fully flourish. Therefore, when bees suffer, so do we. While bumblebees produce a small amount of honey, bears may approach the growing site, if they smell sweetness. To rid bears from gardens, it is best to use electric fence. Electrified wire can also keep away deer that may try to eat bumble bee pollinating flowers such as Honeysuckle; Mint; Sunflowers; and Lavender.