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Bumble Bee Busy Pollinating

Mon April 12 2010 5:38 pm  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=22469
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Bumble Bees, like their relatives the honey bees, feed on nectar and gather pollen to feed their young.

Bumblebees are social insects that are characterized by black and yellow body hairs, often in bands. However, some species have orange or red on their bodies, or may be entirely black. Another obvious (but not unique) characteristic is the soft nature of the hair (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 used to transport pollen (in similar bees, the hind leg is completely hairy, and pollen grains are wedged into the hairs for transport).

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

Queen and worker bumblebees can sting, but unlike a honey bee’s, a bumblebee’s stinger lacks barbs, so they can sting more than once. The honey bee fatally injures itself when it commits to using its stinger. Bumblebee species are normally non-aggressive, but will sting in defense of their nest, or if harmed. Female cuckoo bumblebees will aggressively attack host colony members, and sting the host queen, but will ignore other animals (including humans) unless disturbed.

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2 Responses to “Bumble Bee Busy Pollinating”

  1. Sunny says:

    WOW! How refreshing and beautiful is this shot of a bumblebee…Feels like summer already!

  2. Ben says:

    Honeybees are very important to farmers because they are master pollinators for their crops. Without them there would be fewer crops.

    Sadly to say bees are disappearing and we have less of them then we had years ago. No one knows for sure why this happened. There are few factors which may contribute to this decline:

    1. It may be hard for them to fight off their disease which is caused by viruses, bacteria etc.
    2. They may be getting sick from contact with other bees.
    3. Long distance transporting of honeybees may put too much stress on them.
    4. Air pollution may be another factor, which can distract them finding fragrance of flowers.

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