What are Bumblebees?

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What are Bumblebees? Blog Image

Overview:

According to a new study, bumblebees appear to be quite resistant to common pesticides.

About Bumblebees:

  • They are large, hairy, social bees belonging to the family Apidae (subfamily Bombinae).

o The family Apidaeincludes the well-known honey bees and bumble bees, as well as carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, digger bees, stingless bees, and orchid bees.

  • Distribution:
    • They occur throughout much of the world but are most common in temperate climates.
    • There are over 250 known species, existing primarily in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • They are known for their ability to collect nectar from flowers and pollinate plants.
  • Features:
    • They are large, yellow,and black flying insects with a distinct buzz
    • There is variation in coloration among bumblebees, and some species have bands of red, yellow, and black.
    • They have stocky bodies that are covered with many hairs to which pollen adheres.
    • Bumblebees have four wings; the two rear wings are small and usually attached to the fore wings by a row of hooks called hamuli.
    • The wings move rapidly, at 130-240 beats per second.
    • They are social insects that live in colonies. The queen bee, drones, and worker bees all have specific tasks to help support the colony. 
    • Unlike the honeybee, bumblebees do not make honey, as they do not need to store food for winter. Instead, the season’s new queens hibernate and emerge to find their own nests in the spring.

Q1: What are Pesticides?

Pesticides are chemical compounds that are used to kill pests, including insects, rodents, fungi and unwanted plants (weeds). Over 1000 different pesticides are used around the world. Pesticides are used in public health to kill vectors of disease, such as mosquitoes, and in agriculture to kill pests that damage crops.

Source: Bumblebees don't care about pesticide cocktails: Research highlights their resilience to chemical stressors