Fun Common Eastern Bumble Bee Facts For Kids

Arpitha Rajendra
Jan 31, 2024 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Mar 10, 2022
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Fascinated by bumble bees? Discover these cool common eastern bumble bee facts here at Kidadl.
?
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.6 Min

Do you know what a bumble bee is? Well, if you live in North America, there's a good chance that you've seen one of these little guys buzzing around. Eastern bumble bees are the most common type of bumble bee in North America, and there are a few things that you should know about them! In this article, we will discuss some common and very interesting facts about common eastern bumble bees. We will talk about their habitat, diet, reproduction habits, and more!

Common eastern bumble bees are the most encountered around the eastern parts of North America. The highly adaptable nature of these bees makes them great pollinators. The name 'Bombus' of this species and the genus is a Latin term for humming or buzzing noise. The specific name, Impatiens, may have been derived from a flowering genus with the same name that is a food source for these bees. Bombus genus contains around 250 species including B. impatiens. B. impatiens is classified within the Pyrobombus subgenus. The genus Bombus also has a parasitic member called lemon cuckoos that are nest parasites of these bumble bees.

Common Eastern Bumble Bee Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a common eastern bumble bee?

Common eastern bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) are colonial and social species, which makes them a part of insects which are known as eusocial insects, or living in colonies. They form big colonies. Old generation bees forage for pollen in their food sources in the day and younger ones provide care for the brood. When they forage, the bees pollinate plant species while harvesting nectar and pollen. Saliva and pollen are then combined in the nest to make honey that would feed the colony. Male bumble bees do not participate in any process or work. These bees have a long flight season. Their nests can be found anywhere from ground level up into branches high above us.

What class of animal does a common eastern bumble bee belong to?

Common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) belongs to the class of insects in the animal kingdom.

How many common eastern bumble bees are there in the world?

There is no definitive answer to this question as the number of bumble bees present in any given area can vary greatly. The current population is stable.

Where does a common eastern bumble bee live?

Common eastern bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) are found across North America. They are found in the eastern parts of Great Plains, Southern Canada, and the eastern United States. They occupy the east coast from Florida to Ontario. They are also found in habitats around eastern Texas and Northern Dakota. Most of the population is common in the eastern regions of their habitats. In Mexico and California, common eastern bumble bees are useful in greenhouse pollination.

What is a common eastern bumble bee's habitat?

Bombus impatiens (common eastern bumble bee) habitat range is wide including farmlands, suburban regions, and urban areas. Common eastern bumble bee distribution also occurs around marshes, forests, and grasslands. They occur from ranges with warm subtropic climates (south Florida) to cold temperate (northern United States).

Who does common eastern bumble bees live with?

Common eastern bumble bee lives in a colony with queen bees, worker bees, and male bees.

How long does a common eastern bumble bee live?

Bombus impatiens (common eastern bumble bee) life expectancy is at most one year (queen bee). Workers and males have a lot shorter life expectancy in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The worker bees are classified as totipotent and can lay eggs, and in the ovaries of a few, mature oocytes exist. Although these worker bees neither develop eggs nor lay them if a queen bee is already present in their colony. This behavior makes them eusocial species. Only queen bees mate in the colony. One queen bee will be the founder of the colony, annually.

The reproductive process is sexual reproduction. Queens emerge in spring after overwintering and now they are fertilized. Queens will then build their colonies alone. Once the first batch of workers hatches, they will take care of the young ones. A 'no competition phase' exists when the queen is present in the colony. However, the bees get more aggressive with the absence of a queen. It takes two weeks for an egg to hatch into a larva.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of common eastern bumble bees as per IUCN is listed as Least Concern. Bumblebees are not currently considered to be endangered, but they could become so if their habitats continue to decline at the same rate. If you see a bumble bee, your best bet is to leave it alone. These bees are important pollinators and we need them.

Common Eastern Bumble Bee Fun Facts

What does common eastern bumble bees look like?

Bombus impatiens (common eastern bumble bee) has short hair that is pale yellow on its thorax and black hair on its legs, abdomen, and head. Generally, queens and workers are quite similar in their structure, pubescence, and coloring. They also have a small interalar band of dark hair. Females have black faces and males have yellow faces. The tongue is of medium length. This species of the bumble bee is usually confused with eastern carpenter bees.

This bee species is also identical to B. separatus, B. sandersoni, B. vagans, B. perplexus, and B. bimaculatus in appearance. This bee's head is medium-sized and the head is similar in width to the cheeks.
 

These bees lay many eggs that have their own egg cell and inside their larval cell, bees develop for about 25-35 days.

How cute are they?

Some consider bumble bees cute while others fear them.

How do they communicate?

Similar to many other social bees, these bumble bees use wing vibrations, pheromones, vision, and touch to communicate with each other. They need to communicate to ensure the safety of their nest, food sources, or get commands. These bees can also see ultraviolet light.

How big is a common eastern bumble bee?

Bombus impatiens (common eastern bumble bee) size range is 0.47-0.82 in (12-21 mm). Eastern bumble bees are about the size of honey bees. Queen bumble bee has a bigger body size than workers or males. The male bee measures 0.33-0.62 in (8.5-16 mm), the queen bee is 0.66-0.82 in (17-21), and males are 0.47-082 in (12-21 mm).

How fast can a common eastern bumble bee fly?

The flying speed of the common eastern bumble bee is 15 mph (24.1 kph).

How much does a common eastern bumble bee weigh?

The weight of the common eastern bumble bee is 0.0043 lb (1.98 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female names of the common eastern bumble bee species are 'drone' and 'worker', respectively.

What would you call a baby common eastern bumble bee?

A baby common eastern bumble bee is called a 'larva'.

What do they eat?

Bombus impatiens (common eastern bumble bee) diet consists of pollen and nectar of the flowers. To improve the efficiency of foragers, these bees use trap lining - visiting food sources in a repeatable sequence. Bumble bees like to visit many different types of flowers, including clover fields. They will also pollinate some crops such as tomatoes and peppers, which helps humans get more food from these plants. Bumble bees love big trees like oak or maple because this is where they build nests during springtime when there aren't any leaves yet (and it's easier to see the holes).

They make honey as food and use it for wintertime when flowers aren't blooming so much anymore, due to colder temperatures outside of their nests. They will often build up supplies before mating and pollinating flowers, but they can also be a garden pest if left unchecked.

Are they venomous?

Bumblebees are not venomous and do not sting unless they feel threatened.

Would they make a good pet?

No, bumblebees would not make a good pet. They are wild animals and should be treated as such. You can attract them by planting flowers, which will provide food and nesting areas for these insects. However, make sure not to disturb these bees while they work. You can also make sure there are no pesticides around the area where they live or feed on nectar from plants because this may kill off some bumble bees.

Did You Know...

Common eastern bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) build underground nests that are 1-3 ft (0.3-0.9 m) above the surface of the ground.

The bees enter their nests through tunnels, which are 1.5-9 ft (0.45-2.7 m) long.

The nests of common eastern bumble bee species do not have predictable patterns.

The nest has a social organization with a special division made for labor.

Around 11-13% of worker bees manage the nest's tiny spatial fidelity zones. Smaller bees that manage smaller zones stay near the center of the nest.

A colony of common eastern bumble bees mostly has worker bees and contains over 450 individual bees.

Birds, snakes, and lizards may prey upon these little creatures but they are not the only predators that can cause harm. There have been cases where ants will attack a colony if it gets too big!

Do common eastern bumble bees sting?

These bumble bees don't usually sting unless they feel threatened (like when someone tries touching their nest) and even then, only female worker bees have stingers - male drones do not have one at all. Some people think bumble bees sting only once before dying - this isn't true; instead, each bee has a stinger that it will use over again if necessary.

What does common eastern bumble bee do?

Common eastern bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) are important species of pollinator bees. As they forage for food, they pollinate plants. In addition to this, they also provide us with honey which is made using the same process as flower nutrition - bees collect these nutrients while flying around looking for food sources (and sometimes even during mating rituals).

Common Eastern Bumble Bee Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Pollen and nectar of the flowers

What Type of Animal were they?

Herbivore

Average Litter Size?

2,000 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

0.0043 lb (1.98 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

marshes, forests, grasslands, farmlands, suburban regions, and urban areas

Where Do They Live?

north america

How Long Were They?

0.47-0.82 in (12-21 mm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Insecta

Genus

Bombus

Family

Apidae

Scientific Name

Bombus impatiens

What Do They Look Like?

Black and yellow

Skin Type

Fur or hair

What Are Their Main Threats?

humans

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

Read full bio >