Big Bumble Bees

This site is not affilated with the Better Business Bureau.


About Bumble Bees

Bee Farms

Gardening for Bees

Helpful Links, News and Information

Contact Big Bumble Bees

What are bumble bees?

Bumble bees, also spelled "bumblebees", are flying insects.

Bumble bees are social insects characterized by fuzzy black and yellow body hairs, often in bands. Some of the bumble bee's relative species are known to have orange or even red on their bodies. They were also sometimes entirely black.

Another obvious (but not unique) characteristic is the soft nature of the long, branched setae, called pile, that covers their entire body, making them appear and feel fuzzy. They are best distinguished from similarly large, fuzzy bees by the form of the female hind leg, which is modified to form a corbicula--a shiny concave surface that is bare but surrounded by a fringe of hairs. The corbicula is used to transport pollen (in similar bees, the hind leg is completely hairy, and pollen grains are wedged into the hairs for transport).

Queen and worker bumble bees can sting, but the sting is not barbed like that of the honey bee. Hence, they can sting more than once--which isn't a good thing if you catch their wrath. Bumble bee species are generally non-aggressive, but will sting in defense of their nest or if harmed.

Like their relatives the honey bees, bumble bees feed on nectar and gather pollen to feed their young.

(c) 2008 Big Bumble Bees