Bumblebee

Actual Size: ¾” –  1”

Characteristics: Hairy body, black usually with yellow or white bands

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Nest in the ground or above ground in soffts and attics

Habits:

  • Bumblebees can scent-mark the flowers they visit to indicate the nectar is gone
  • Unlike honey bees, they can sting repeatedly
  • Bumblebees can hibernate underground

Bumblebees in Vermont

Bumblebees are large, fuzzy, round insects known as important pollinators. They are covered with dense branched setae (hairs). They have short stubby wings and are beneficial as pollinators for many kinds of crops and ornamentals. Bumblebees can sting, however, they are very unlikely stingers. The effect of their sting varies based upon the victim. Bumblebees do not fly with great finesse or accuracy. They are able to get from point A to B but are clumsy and slow. They are the second-largest contributors to the pollination of wildflowers after honey bees. They are a crucial part of our environment as important pollinators. Bumblebees are known to emit a loud buzzing noise while working.

Bumblebee Nests or Hives

Compared to most bees, bumblebees live in very small groups. Some colonies contain just 50 to a few hundred members.Most bumblebees nest in the ground, using deserted rodent burrows and shallow cavities excavated beneath patio stones, landscaping timber, piles of compost, and within dense patches of grass. Above ground, they will occupy abandoned bird nests and fiberglass-insulated structural voids associated with outside walls, patio roofing, and decks.

Bumblebee Habitat & Stings

For the most part, bumblebees are not aggressive and rarely sting humans. Most stings happen when their nest is disturbed. Only female bumblebees sting and unlike honey bees, they can sting more than once. Bumblebees can sting multiple times, but they do not form swarms like honey bees. The pain from a bumblebee sting is less painful than a honey bee sting, however, a sting can be dangerous if it occurs on the head or neck, or if an individual is allergic to their venom.

If you are dealing with a bumblebee problem or need advice, contact a bee control expert near you.