Do Bumblebees Make Honey? A Complete Guide to Bumblebee Behavior
Do Bumblebees Make Honey: Do you wonder what those bumblebees buzzing around your flowers are up to? Do they produce honey like our familiar honeybees? Continue reading to gain insight into honeybee ecology and behavior.
What are Bumblebees?
The Apidae family of bees contains not only honeybees and carpenter bees but also bumblebees.
Bumblebees are social bees that live in smaller groups than honeybees, which live in big, highly organized colonies. When it comes to pollinating crops, wildflowers, and other vegetation, bumblebees are second to none.
Do Bumblebees Make Honey?
As for whether or not bumblebees produce honey, the quick response is no. Honeybees visit flowers to gather nectar, which is then brought back to the colony and stored in honeycomb cells by the worker bees. Honey is made from nectar by evaporation and enzyme action over time.
However, bumblebees are not as socially sophisticated as honeybees and do not produce as much honey for storage.
Bumblebees, on the other hand, gather nectar and pollen to support their much smaller colonies. Unlike honeybees, bumblebees don’t have workers whose primary job is to prepare and store food.
The Life Cycle of Bumblebees
Bumblebees have a fascinating life cycle, with distinct stages that allow them to adapt to different environmental conditions. Here’s a brief overview:
- Queen Emergence: In the spring, a queen bumblebee emerges from hibernation and begins searching for a suitable place to build her nest.
- Nest Building: Once the queen has found a suitable location, she begins building her nest. Unlike honeybees, bumblebees build their nests in the ground or in cavities, such as abandoned rodent burrows or hollow trees.
- Egg-Laying: The queen lays her eggs in the nest, which hatch into larvae after a few days.
- Larval Development: The larvae are fed a mixture of nectar and pollen by the queen until they pupate and become adult bees.
- Colony Growth: Once the first batch of adult bees emerges, they take over the job of collecting food for the colony. The colony grows rapidly over the summer, with new generations of workers emerging every few weeks.
- Reproduction: Towards the end of the summer, the queen begins to lay eggs that will develop into new queens and males. These bees will mate and the new queens will hibernate over the winter, starting the cycle anew the following spring.
FAQ About Do Bumblebees Make Honey
Q: Are bumblebees aggressive?
The only time a bumblebee will sting is if it feels endangered or if its nest is being disturbed. However, to avoid unneeded stings, it is best to allow them space and not disturb their nests.
Q: Can bumblebees survive the winter?
To get through the cold months, bumblebees have evolved to hibernate in places like underground burrows or leaf litter. The winter kills off the entire population except for the new queen bees.
Do you get honey from a bumblebee?
A honeybee does not produce honey, so the answer is no. Although bumblebees, like honeybees, gather nectar from flowers, they do not make or keep honey.
What is the difference between a bumblebee and a honeybee?
The physical appearance, behavior, and social organization of bumblebees and honeybees are all distinct from one another.
Bumblebees are fuzzy, black, and yellow or orange in color, and are typically bigger and stronger than beekeepers. Honeybees, on the other hand, are more petite and less hairy than their counterparts.
Q: How can I help protect bumblebees?
To aid in the preservation of bumblebees, you can create a secure environment by planting nectar-rich flowers and allowing undisturbed nesting areas.
In order to protect pollinators like bees and butterflies, you should not use pesticides or herbicides in your yard.