Fun Bumblebee Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
May 01, 2023 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Bumblebee facts about the native bee of North America.

Bumblebees are bees from the Apidae family that belongs to the Bombus genus (honey producer bees). Bumblebees are distributed in 250 different species and are found worldwide.

These bees can survive cold climatic conditions like in winter, unlike other bees who can only survive the summer season.

Their bodies regulate temperature while the long and strong bristles help prevent heat loss from their bodies, hence keeping them warm during winters. Bumblebees can absorb solar radiation by a shivering method, raising their body temperature and thus efficiently serving the purpose during harsh winters.

Bumblebees are social in behavior. These insects build their nests in a colony where their queen lays eggs, and they take care of them together.

But some species like the cuckoo bumblebees are the species that tend to rely on other organisms to take care of their young ones.

These are often called brood parasitic animals (cuckoo bumblebees being one of them). The queen of this species kills the resident queen of another colony and lays her eggs in their stead, while the worker bees protect and take care of them.

Here on our page, we have lots of amazing facts about the bumblebee that everyone will enjoy. Let's look at these interesting facts and if you like these, do also read our stingless bees facts and solitary bees facts.

Bumblebee Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a bumblebee?

A bumblebee is an insect species that belongs to the category of bees, specifically the Bombus bee.

What class of animal does a bumblebee belong to?

Bumblebees are of the Arthropod phylum that belongs to the class of Insecta.

How many bumblebees are there in the world?

The exact population of bumblebees is unknown to date as they are quite common in most countries like America and Europe. The population of bumblebees is increasing as time passes as they are heavily spread out across the world.

It is, therefore, difficult to have an estimate of their numbers. On average, there are about 250 species of bumblebees found worldwide.

Where does a bumblebee live?

Bumblebees can be found in any area where the availability of nectar and pollen from flowers is not an issue. This includes areas rich with flowers like gardens, meadows, and woodlands.

Urban and suburban settings are places best suited for them as they are conducive and help them build nests easily. Bumblebees are native to California but can be found all over America, Canada, Europe, and Asia. New Zealand hosts four species of Bumblebees.

What is a bumblebee's habitat?

As there are approximately around 250 different species of Bumblebees, it may not be a surprising fact that they can be spotted just about anywhere in the world. Their habitats range from the United States to Europe and everywhere that they can get pollen and nectar from flowers.

Bumblebees prefer to build their nest closer to the ground under abandoned woods, trees, and plants.

Who does Bumblebee live with?

Bumblebees are social organisms and hence prefer living in a group also called a colony. The queen bee lays eggs, while males (often called 'the drones') and worker bees look after the nests and take care of the young ones.

They are not honey-producer bees and often reside in the colonies of the much smaller honeybees or other species of bees. Queens are known to take over other colonies by killing the queens of that colony and then laying eggs there.

How long does a bumblebee live?

Bumblebee's lifespan depends upon many factors. While worker bees tend to live up to 12-28 days, male bees die shortly after mating. The queen bee lives for a good 18-19 weeks, but a queen bee is also known to live longer, up to 24 weeks to build a nest and take care of her eggs until the colony's demise.

How do they reproduce?

In the months of summer (specifically in July and August), young queen bees mate with male drones, and after fertilization, the queen builds her nest and then lays the eggs. Most bumblebees build their nests underground so they can be safe from predators as well as excessive heat.

The queen and the female workers look after eggs in the nest, which later hatch into larvae. Worker bees guard the nest and continue building the colony for their safety.

What is their conservation status?

Bumblebees have the status of Least Concern. A study shows that although the body of bumblebees is made in such a way that they can survive cold weather, they are not completely immune to the harsh winter conditions of December.

During this time of the year, their egg tends to freeze due to the severely dropping temperature. This is the main reason why the queen hibernates hidden in their underground nest.

Bumblebee Fun Facts

What does a bumblebee look like?

Bumblebees are fuzzy and large black bees with yellow bands all across their body. These bees have short, stubby wings and are often larger than the average honey bee.

They have short and soft fur on their body that is attached to a plump head.

They are different from honey bees as they have bigger tongues, making it easier for them to release nectar from a flower, which they suck out of what appears to be a closed tube. On the other hand, the honey bee can only take nectar from an open flower.

Bumblebees are mostly black with yellow stripes.

How cute are they?

Most people tend to like bees due to their appearance and their tiny size, and the same is the case with bumblebees. A recent study shows that the sting of a bumblebee is quite dangerous and painful, which can also lead people to avoid them. Bumblebees can sting aggressively and repeatedly, although they tend to ignore humans.

How do they communicate?

This type of bee has a different style of communication as, unlike the other bees, bumblebees do not communicate through dance but produce wings vibration. They also use chemicals like pheromones signal for communication.

They do not communicate for food; rather, they find their food, which is the pollen and nectar of the flower. They are called bumblebees because they bumble, meaning that they buzz and hum to communicate.

How big is a bumblebee?

Adult bumblebees can range up to 1.6 in (40 mm) in length. This bee is ten times smaller than an average to medium-sized bird and about half the size of the bumblebee hummingbird.

How fast can a bumblebee fly?

Bumblebees can fly up to 3.3 yards per second which means this bee can cover the length of an entire football field in around 29-33 seconds.

How much does a bumblebee weigh?

The weight of bumblebees can range around 0.03 oz (0.85g). These bees are agile and tiny insects with short wings.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no different names for male and female members of the bumblebee species.

What would you call a baby bumblebee?

Baby bumblebees are called larvae or pupae when young. The bumblebee undergoes three different stages before it becomes an adult bee. The transformation from an egg into larvae, and after that into pupae, and finally into an adult bumblebee takes about three weeks.

What do they eat?

The primary food for bumblebees is pollen and nectar from flowers. These bees feed on nectars and take their pick from flowers across the world. They have large tongues, which makes it easier for them to suck nectar and pick pollen from a closed flower bud.

Are they dangerous?

Although the common bumblebee is not an aggressive insect by nature, the female can sting when she feels threatened. They are generally friendly and docile.

The male bumblebee cannot sting, and only the female can, doing so when threatened. Although their sting is not fatal, it sure is excruciatingly painful, albeit a rare occurrence for humans.

They cannot kill you unless you are allergic to the bee's venom. You can treat a bumblebee sting by first scraping off the stinger, sanitizing the affected area, and then promptly applying a cold compress to ease the pain.

Would they make a good pet?

The bumblebee cannot be a good pet to a human being as these creatures reside in groups or colonies that cannot live alone, and if indeed planning on bringing home a hive, they need to be handled by expert hands.

However, if you'd like to watch a bumblebee in action, it is quite okay to watch them feed on the nectar of flowers from a safe distance and with possible protective suits or clothing.

Remember that the bumblebee's sting can be very painful and should be avoided at all possible costs.

Did you know...

Driven solely by a queen bee, bumblebees are all about cultivating discipline, order, and loyalty. They collaborate in raising their young and split work equally.

Bumblebees are equipped to secrete and deliver a waxy substance to construct their colonies in the best way possible and ensure the safety of all eggs while at it.

There is also a sci-fi action film based on the idea of a bumblebee titled 'Bumblebee' about a giant alien robot named Bumblebee due to his resemblance to the actual insect. Charlie Watson is the human protagonist of this film. Bumblebee's real name was B-127.

Do bumblebees make honey?

Bumblebees cannot and do not make honey. The bumblebee collects nectar from all flowering plants but does not convert it into honey like its honeybee cousins.

How does a bumblebee fly?

Although the bumblebee has small wings, their wings beat very fast, with roughly 200 flaps per second. This brilliant maneuver helps them fly as fast as birds. The bumblebee can take flight at high speeds even while carrying an object along.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these scorpion facts and hornet facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bumblebee coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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