Did you know….

1. Bumble bees use their wings to cool down their nests. Since bumble bees can flap their wings 200 times per second, they are able to use their wings as fans to reduce the heat inside their nests. This technique is called fanning.

2. Bumble bees are picky about the flowers they collect nectar from. When it comes to flowers, bumble bees have two favourite colours – blue and violet. They’ll often fly to a flower that’s either of those colours over one that’s any other colour. Their preference isn’t due to how the flower looks, though. It’s due to the fact that the violet and blue flowers are often the most nectar-rich (and therefore, the most beneficial to them).

3.  Queen bees control the genetics of their offspring. Male bumblebees have only one chromosome, and no father. To produce a son, a queen bee merely has to lay an unfertilized egg. To have daughters—who make up the entirety of a bee workforce—a queen bee fertilizes her eggs with sperm she’s been storing since the previous summer.

4. Bumblebees don’t die when they sting. That’s just a thing in honeybees. So yes, a bumblebee can sting you twice. However, male bumblebees don’t have a stinger at all, and female bumblebees aren’t very aggressive. Although they are quite large insects they’re relatively harmless, and will only sting if provoked. 

5. The Populations Of Some British Bumblebees Declined. Bumblebees requiring very specific habitats, foraging and food have suffered greatly due to habitat destruction.  For example, those relying on grasslands and meadows have suffered due to changing land management practices, the industrialisation of farming, destruction of hedgerows etc. In addition to habitat loss, all bees face the challenge of pesticide use across large areas of land.

Have you noticed a decline in bees in your area?