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Bumble Bee Busy Pollinating

Mon April 12 2010 5:38 pm
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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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  • Current Conditions : 55.2F, Light Rain - 1:42 AM CST Nov. 27
    Temperature: 55.2°F | Humidity: 97% | Pressure: 30.14in (Steady) | Conditions: Light Rain | Wind Direction: SE | Wind Speed: 1.6mph
  • Friday as of Nov. 26 8:28 PM CST
    Friday - Windy. Rain in the morning...then a chance of rain in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 40s. North winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of precipitation 100 percent.
  • Rest of Tonight as of Nov. 26 8:28 PM CST
    Rest of Tonight - Rain. Lows in the lower 40s. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph late in the evening shifting to the northwest after midnight. Gusts up to 35 mph near the lake. Chance of precipitation 100 percent.
  • Friday Night as of Nov. 26 8:28 PM CST
    Friday Night - Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of light rain in the evening. Lows in the lower 30s in the suburbs...but in the mid 30s downtown. Northeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 30 mph in the evening. Chance of precipitation 20 percent.


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