Bumblebee

Actual Size:  ¾” –  1″

Characteristics: Black midsection with white markings on face and end.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Often nest in the ground but also in soffits or attics. They can be seen around patio areas or decks.

Habits:

  • Bumblebees are large, slow fliers with fuzzy yellow bodies.
  • They tend to stick close to flowers and their nests.
  • Bumblebees do not produce honey even though they are important pollinators

Bumblebees in Santa Fe and Albuquerque NM

Bumblebees are sometimes mistaken for carpenter bees because of their similar size and coloring. But their similarities end there. Bumblebees are large and robust insects covered with dense branched setae (hairs). They have short stubby wings and are beneficial as pollinators for many kinds of crops and ornamentals. According to the National Wildlife Federation, their wings beat at least 130 times per second. The beating helps vibrate flowers until they release pollen, which is called buzz pollination. This encourages plants to produce more fruit, which is why their pollination is so important to the environment.

Bumblebee Habitat

Compared to many types of bees, bumblebee colonies are small and only contain a dozen to a few hundred workers. Bumblebees will ground both in the ground and above the ground. When they nest in the ground, they typically use deserted rodent burrows and shallow cavities excavated beneath patio stones, landscaping timber, piles of compost, and within dense patches of grass. Above ground, they will occupy abandoned bird nests and fiberglass-insulated structural voids associated with outside walls, patio roofing, and decks.

Bumblebee Behavior & Threats

Although most insects are environmentally beneficial, it can be difficult to coexist peacefully when they invade your personal space. When it comes to bumblebees, most stings happen when their nest is disturbed. Bumblebees can sting multiple times, but they do not form swarms like honey bees. The pain from a bumblebee sting is less painful than a honey bee sting, however, a sting can be dangerous if it occurs on the head or neck, or if an individual is allergic to their venom.

Because bumblebees will sting when threatened, it’s important to stay away from their nests. Always contact your local bee control experts for help with a bumblebee problem.