About Bumblebees

Above: Bombus barbutellus - Barbut's cuckoo bee (male)

Bumblebees are enchanting creatures, their gentle buzzing sound is synonymous with Summer.  However, they are not only beautiful, they are vitally important pollinators. 


On my page Types Of Bees, I provide a summary of the different classifications of the various bee species. 

Below, is an overview of the scientific classification of the bumblebee, and beneath that, you will find links to further information, from an explanation of the lifecycle, to answers to common questions (such as why bumblebees may be seen digging in the ground or bumping against windows, and what to do should you find a bedraggled looking bumblebee in need of some help).

Please do keep coming back to this site, as further information is continually being added!

Scientific Classification:  Bumblebees


Kingdom

Animalia (the animal kingdom)


Phylum


Arthropoda (which means they are invertebrates, having an exoskeleton (or outer skeleton) and jointed body parts (legs, antennae).


Class


Insecta (they have six legs)


Order


Hymenoptera (referring to winged insects – read more about hymenoptera)


Sub-order


Apocrita (they have a waste, sting, and larvae are blind and without legs)


Family


Apidae (bees)


Genus


Bombus (bumblebees)


Further information:



Introduction
Background information - their current status in the UK and USA, as well as the problems they face.

Bumblebee Lifecycle
Information about the lifecycle of this important little pollinator, with pictures.

The Flight Of The Bumblebee
A joy to watch! A short video showing the flight of this enchanting little pollinator. Also, you can listen to the composition by Rimsky-Korsakov, The Flight Of The Bumblebee and even download the sheet music for free!

British Bumblebees
A guide to the UK species.


Bumblebees Of North And Central America
(Including Mexico)


Do Bumblebees Make Honey?
A question I have often been asked during my talks, perhaps due to the confusion between honey bees and bumblebees.


Bumping Bumblebees!
Why can bumblebees sometimes be seen bumping against windows?


Bumblebee Foraging Behaviours
Do bumblebees waggle dance?  Do they prefer certain flowers? 


Digging?
Bumblebees may sometimes be seen digging in the ground.  Here you can read why.



The Queen
Take a look at this page about the queen of the colony, and watch a lovely short David Attenborough video clip.

Cuckoos
It may surprise you to learn that there are species of cuckoo bees (and wasps too!). Even bumblebees have cuckoo species!

Nests
Where do they prefer to nest, and can you create a nest site in your garden?

Nest Removal
Nests only last a season, and relocating a nest is rarely successful, but sometimes, moving a nest is inevitable. Here are some step by step instructions to increase the chances of moving a nest successfully, humanely and safely.

Bees Nest Q&A
You may have found a bees nest, and not be sure what kind of bee it belongs to, or what to do about it. Here is a handy Q&A.

Pollination

Why are bumblebees such excellent pollinators?


Bumblebees For Sale?
Bumblebees are being reared commercially for sale not only to major food growers, but also to gardeners.  But is it a good idea to buy them?



Found A Bee?
What to do if you want to help a bedraggled looking bee, or see a one covered in mites.

About Bees
Want to know more about bees generally, such as how long bees live, or how the species differ? Take a look at some of the general information on this site.

Bee Plants
Why not help the bees and attract them into your garden, by including lots of great bee plants?













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