Bumblebee Facts for Kids

Save

The name bumblebee doesn't refer to a single species of bee, but to the bees of the genus Bombus. The clumsy, bumbling flight of the bumblebee gave the bees their common name. These large bees are covered in black and white hairs. Bumblebees can sting, but rarely do. Bumblebees are social insects whose colonies consist of a queen bee and worker bees. They are very important to the pollination of the world's plants.

Fuzzy Coats

  • Bumblebees have very fuzzy coats on their bodies and legs. These coats allow them to pick up pollen from one plant and transfer it to another easily -- in fact, bumblebees can transfer more pollen with their coats than honey bees. The bumblebee's coat is made up of thick hair that is branched. The coat keeps the bee warm, allowing it to go out on days when honeybees are too cold to leave the hive.

Long Tongues

  • Bumblebees have long tongues that are feathery at the end, allowing them to collect lots of nectar. While the bumblebee is flying, it keeps its tongue folded up inside a sheath made from its upper jaw and palp. The tongue of one species of bumblebee, Bombus hortorum, is 12 mm long. The bumblebee's long tongue helps it feed on plants such as beans and peas, which have flowers that are shaped in such a way that only animals with long tongues can reach their nectar.

Buzz Pollination

  • Bumblebees can perform a type of pollination called buzz pollination. Bumblebees vibrate when they fly, so much that if they are near a flower's anthers -- which hold pollen -- the pollen will shake loose. The pollen can either hitch a ride to another flower on the bumblebee's body or fall onto another flower below it. Either way, buzz pollination makes bumblebees efficient pollinators of tomatoes, kiwi and berries.

Short Sleepers

  • Bees typically hibernate throughout the winter. Bumblebees get a head start on other bees by being one of the first bee species to emerge from hibernation every spring. Some bumblebees continue to forage for nectar until November; as a result, they are important pollinators of fall and winter crops. In areas where the climate is fairly mild and enough plants are around to sustain them, you can sometimes see bumblebees throughout the winter.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • Honey Bee Information for Kids

    Honeybees are best known for the buzzing noise they make as they fly and for their production of honey. They play a...

  • Bumblebee Bat Facts

    Bumblebee bats (Craseonycteris thonglongyai), also referred to as Kitti's hog nosed bat, are found in remote sections of Thailand and Myanmar. These...

  • Activities for Kids About Bees

    Children have varied reactions to bees. Some are fascinated with them, but others are scared about being stung. Activities revolving around bees...

  • 10 Facts About Carpenter Bees

    Carpenter bees, which belong to the genus Xylocopa, got their common name because of their habit of digging into wood surfaces to...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Build and Grow a Salad Garden On Your Balcony

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!