Buff-tailed

Bumblebee
Bumblebee

Buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) have a yellow-brown bottom (faintly so in the case of workers) which differentiates them from other species such as white-tailed bumblebees (Bombus lucorum).

These bees are social insects who nest in colonies of 100-500 in empty mouse nests or along longer tunnels.   A solitary queen mates with a male and finds a nest to overwinter.  In spring she lays eggs and tends the larvae which pupate into female workers.  Workers forage for nectar and pollen for later generations of larvae, some of which develop into male drones and some of which receive extra food and pupate to become new queens.  The colony persists until autumn when young queens leave the nest, mate and find a hibernation site.

Bumblebees and honey bees have a preference for blue and yellow flowers.  Recent research shows that exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides causes impairment of the bumblebees’ ability to forage.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s