Great Gray Owl Pest Control

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Bombus species Family Apidae

A gentle giant and ambassador to the world of bees for many people, the big, fuzzy bumblebee is one of our favorite beneficial insects. We do not exterminate them! Many gardens suppport 2 to 3 different species of bumblebees at the same time. Significantly larger than honey bees, they are black and furry with one or two yellow bands. Bumblebees are seasonal, and after summer only the queen survives, starting a new colony in the spring. We encourage everyone to let the bumblebee thrive in their garden and not disturb them. A relatively docile bee, they are not easily provoked. But if an individual is sufficiently bothered, it is capable of stinging multiple times because they don't die after stinging.

Bumblebees live in nests of 15 to 100 in cavities in the ground, under sheds or other random places usually low to the ground. They often set up nests in the warm and dry abandoned nests of deer mice. You will never encounter a cluster of many of them at a time. The impregnated queens emerge in early spring and set up their first nesting brood. Once they find the right location, they gather nectar and pollen and put them into special cells close by, then they create cells and lay eggs on them. Because they nest so early, the female sits on the eggs, incubating them much like a bird, using the nectar and pollen she stored to get her by the first week or so. The first brood are all females and they spend their short lives gathering nectar and pollen to provision the next cells the queen makes. The second or third generation will have reproductive males and females who mate and start the cycle all over again.