With their adorable fuzzy bodies and bouncy movements as they go from flower to flower, it’s no surprise so many of us have a soft spot for these stripy critters. We love them so much, in fact, that we’ve featured them on a selection of our SS20 kids’ styles, which are guaranteed to bright up anyone’s day.
1. There are 24 species of bumblebee in the UK, compared to just one species of honeybee in the whole of Europe.
2. Bumblebees have astonishingly fast metabolisms and must eat almost constantly. In fact, a bumblebee is only ever about 40 mins away from starvation.
3. Bumblebee nests contain only 50-400 bees. To put that into context, honeybee hives contain up to 60,000 bees during the active season.
4. Most bumblebees possess the famous yellow and black stripes, but they can also have red, orange or white on their fuzzy bodies. The rare bombus ruderatus species is completely black, and has been spotted in Oxford.
5. During late autumn, the whole colony – except for the queen – will die, and a new colony will be started in the spring.
6. Unlike honeybees, bumblebees don’t store much honey in their nests – just enough to last a few days.
7. Although other animals are pollinators, bumblebees are extremely good at it. Their big, fuzzy bodies vibrate against flowers until they release pollen – a process called buzz pollination – which allows plants to produce more fruit. In fact, up to a third of human food relies on bee pollination.
8. Bumblebees can flap their wings up to 200 times a second; hummingbirds who are famously fast flappers, only manage 50 flaps a second!
9. The name Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series is an old word for bumblebee. Author JK Rowling chose the name because she imagined the wizard humming to himself as he went about his business due to his love of music.
10. Unlike honeybees who can only sting once before they die, bumblebees can use their sting repeatedly as it doesn’t contain barbs. However, they are generally peaceful around humans and will usually only sting when threatened.