3 Reasons To Go Against The Flow Hive - HoneyColony The Flow Hive is not as sweet as it seems. On World Honey Bee Day lets take a look at where bees are currently. According to a new U.S. Department of ...
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Bumblebee - Wikipedia The genus Bombus, the only one extant in the tribe Bombini, comprises over 250 species; for an overview of the differences between bumblebees and other bees and wasps ...
Bumblebee - Wikipedia For other uses see Bumblebee disambiguation and Bombus disambiguation Colony The Endangered World Of Bees A bumblebee also written bumble bee is a member of the genus Bombus part of Apidae one of the bee families This genus is the only extant group in the tribe Bombini though a few extinct related genera e g Calyptapis are known from fossils Over 250 species of bumblebee are known 1 They are found primarily in higher altitudes or latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere although they are also found in South America where a few lowland tropical species have been identified European bumblebees have also been introduced to New Zealand and Tasmania The brood parasitic or cuckoo bumblebees have sometimes been classified as a subgenus or genus Psithyrus but are now usually treated as members of Bombus Many bumblebees are social insects that form colonies with a single queen The colonies are smaller than those of honey bees growing to as few as 50 individuals in a nest Female bumblebees can sting repeatedly but generally ignore humans and other animals Cuckoo bumblebees do not make nests their queens aggressively invade the nests of other bumblebee species kill the resident queens and then lay their own eggs which are cared for by the resident workers Bumblebees have round bodies covered in soft hair long branched setae called pile making them appear and feel fuzzy They have aposematic warning coloration often consisting of contrasting bands of colour and different species of bumblebee in a region often resemble each other in mutually protective Müllerian mimicry Harmless insects such as hoverflies often derive protection from resembling bumblebees in Batesian mimicry and may be confused with them Nestmaking bumblebees can be distinguished from similarly large fuzzy cuckoo bees by the form of the female hind leg In nesting bumblebees it is modified to form a pollen basket a bare shiny area surrounded by a fringe of hairs used to transport pollen whereas in cuckoo bees the hind leg is hairy all round and pollen grains are wedged among the hairs for transport Like their relatives the honeybees bumblebees feed on nectar using their long hairy tongues to lap up the liquid the proboscis is folded under the head during flight Bumblebees gather nectar to add to the stores in the nest and pollen to feed their young They forage using colour and spatial relationships to identify flowers to feed from Some bumblebees rob nectar making a hole near the base of a flower to access the nectar while avoiding pollen transfer Bumblebees are important agricultural pollinators so their decline in Europe North America and Asia is a cause for concern The decline has been caused by habitat loss the mechanisation of agriculture and pesticides Contents 1 Etymology and common names 2 Phylogeny 3 Taxonomy 4 General description 5 Distribution and habitat 6 Biology 6 1 Feeding 6 2 Wax production 6 3 Coloration 6 4 Temperature control 6 4 1 Chillcoma temperature 6 5 Communication and social learning 6 6 Reproduction and nesting 6 7 Foraging behaviour 6 8 Asynchronous flight muscles 6 9 Cuckoo bumblebees 6 10 Sting 7 Predators parasites and pathogens 8 Relationship to humans 8 1 Agricultural use 8 2 Population decline 8 3 Conservation efforts 8 4 Misconception about flight 8 5 In music and literature 9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 Sources 13 External links Etymology and common namesedit Beatrix Potter called Babbity Bumble a bumble bee in The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse 1910 The word bumblebee is a compound of bumble bee bumble meaning to hum buzz drone or move ineptly or flounderingly 2 The generic name Bombus assigned by Pierre André Latreille in 1802 is derived from the Latin word for a buzzing or humming sound 3 According to the Oxford English Dictionary OED the term bumblebee was first recorded as having been used in the English language in the 1530 work Lesclarcissement by John Palsgrave I bomme as a bombyll bee dothe 4 However the OED also states that the term humblebee predates it having first been used in 1450 in Fysshynge wyth Angle In Juyll the greshop & the humbylbee in the medow 5 The latter term was used in A Midsummer Nights Dream circa 1600 by William Shakespeare The honiebags steale from the humble Bees 6 An old provincial name dumbledor also denoted a buzzing insect such as a bumblebee or cockchafer dumble probably imitating the sound of these insects while dor meant beetle 7 In On the Origin of Species 1859 Charles Darwin speculated about humblebees and their interactions with other species8 I have reason to believe that humblebees are indispensable to the fertilisation of the heartsease Viola tricolor for other bees do not visit this flower From experiments which I have tried I have found that the visits of bees if not indispensable are at least highly beneficial to the fertilisation of our clovers but humblebees alone visit the common red clover Trifolium pratense as other bees cannot reach the nectar However bumblebee remained in use for example in The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse 1910 by Beatrix Potter Suddenly round a corner she met Babbitty BumbleZizz Bizz Bizzz said the bumble bee Since World War II humblebee has fallen into neartotal disuse 9 Phylogenyedit The bumblebee tribe Bombini is one of four groups of corbiculate bees those with pollen baskets in the Apidae the others being the Apini honeybees Euglossini orchid bees and Meliponini stingless bees The corbiculate bees are a monophyletic group Advanced eusocial behaviour appears to have evolved twice in the group giving rise to controversy now largely settled as to the phylogenetic origins of the four tribes it had been supposed that eusocial behaviour had evolved only once requiring the Apini to be close to the Meliponini which they do not resemble It is now thought that the Apini with advanced societies and Euglossini are closely related while the primitively eusocial Bombini are close to the Meliponini which have somewhat more advanced eusocial behaviour Sophie Cardinal and Bryan Danforth comment that While remarkable a hypothesis of dual origins of advanced eusociality is congruent with early studies on corbiculate morphology and social behavior 10 Their analysis combining molecular morphological and behavioural data gives the following cladogram10 Corbiculate bees Apini honeybees Euglossini orchid bees Bombini bumblebees Meliponini stingless bees On this hypothesis the molecular data suggest that the Bombini are 25 to 40 million years old while the Meliponini and thus the clade that includes the Bombini and Meliponini are 81 to 96 million years old about the same age as the corbiculate group 10 The fossil record for bees is very incomplete but by 2012 some 11 specimens that might possibly be Bombini some poorly documented had been described some such as Calyptapis florissantensis from Florissant USA and Oligoapis beskonakensis from Beskonak Turkey dated from the Oligocene 11 In 2012 a fossil bumblebee Bombus Bombus randeckensis was found in the Miocene rocks of the Randeck Maar in southwestern Germany and confidently placed in the subgenus Bombus 11 In 2014 a new bumblebee Bombus cerdanyensis was described from Late Miocene lacustrine beds of La Cerdanya Spain12 while another Oligobombus cuspidatus was described from the late Eocene Bembridge Marls of the Isle of Wight 1314 Taxonomyedit Further information List of bumblebee species The genus Bombus the only one extant in the tribe Bombini comprises over 250 species for an overview of the differences between bumblebees and other bees and wasps see characteristics of common wasps and bees The genus has been divided variously into up to 49 subgenera a degree of complexity criticised by Williams 2008 15 The cuckoo bumblebees Psithyrus have sometimes been treated as a separate genus but are now considered to be part of Bombus in one or more subgenera 15 Williams identifies 15 subgenera that are seen to be monophyletic fewer in number diagnosable from morphology and at least roughly correspond to behavioural and ecological groupings15 Examples of Bombus species include Bombus atratus Bombus dahlbomii Bombus fervidus Bombus lapidarius Bombus ruderatus and Bombus rupestris Bombus genus Mendacibombus 12 species Bombias 3 species Kallobombus 1 species Orientalibombus 3 species Subterraneobombus 10 species Megabombus 22 species Thoracobombus 50 species Psithyrus 30 species Pyrobombus 50 species Alpinobombus 5 species Bombus subgenus 5 species Alpigenobombus 7 species Melanobombus 17 species Sibirocobombus 7 species Cullumanobombus 23 species Subgenera of the genus Bombus General descriptionedit Further information Characteristics of common wasps and bees Bumblebees are varied in appearance but are generally plump and densely furry Compared to honeybees they are larger and stouterbodied Many species have broad bands of colour the patterns helping to distinguish different species Whereas honeybees have short tongues and therefore mainly pollinate open flowers some bumblebee species have long tongues and collect nectar from flowers that are closed into a tube 16 Compared to a honeybee a bumblebee has a broader body and a more rounded tip to the abdomen Bumblebees have fewer stripes or none and usually have part of the body covered in black fur while honeybees have many stripes including several grey stripes on the abdomen 17 Sizes are very variable even within species the largest British species B terrestris has queens up to 22 mm 0 9 in long males up to 16 mm 0 6 in long and workers between 11 and 17 mm 0 4–0 7 in long 18 The largest bumblebee species in the world is B dahlbomii of Chile up to about 40 mm 1 6 in long and described as flying mice and a monstrous fluffy ginger beast 19 Distribution and habitatedit Bumblebees are typically found in temperate climates and are often found at higher latitudes and altitudes than other bees although a few lowland tropical species exist 20 A few species B polaris and B alpinus range into very cold climates where other bees might not be found B polaris occurs in northern Ellesmere Island in the high Arctic along with another bumblebee B hyperboreus which parasitises its nest This is the most northernmost occurrence of any eusocial insect 21 One reason for their presence in cold places is that bumblebees can regulate their body temperature via solar radiation internal mechanisms of shivering and radiative cooling from the abdomen called heterothermy Other bees have similar physiology but the mechanisms seem best developed and have been most studied in bumblebees 22 They adapt to higher elevations by extending their wing stroke amplitude 23 Bumblebees have a largely cosmopolitan distribution but are absent from Australia apart from Tasmania where they have been introduced and are found in Africa only north of the Sahara 24 Biologyedit A common carder bumblebee Bombus pascuorum extending its tongue towards a Heuchera inflorescence Feedingedit The bumblebee tongue the proboscis is a long hairy structure that extends from a sheathlike modified maxilla The primary action of the tongue is lapping that is repeated dipping of the tongue into liquid 25 The tip of the tongue probably acts as a suction cup and during lapping nectar may be drawn up the proboscis by capillary action When at rest or flying the proboscis is kept folded under the head The longer the tongue the deeper the bumblebee can probe into a flower and bees probably learn by experience which flower source is bestsuited to their tongue length 26 Bees with shorter proboscides like Bombus bifarius have a more difficult time foraging nectar relative to other bumblebees with longer proboscides to overcome this disadvantage B bifarius workers were observed to lick the back of spurs on the nectar duct which resulted in a small reward 27 Wax productionedit The exoskeleton of the abdomen is divided into plates called dorsal tergites and ventral sternites Wax is secreted from glands on the abdomen and extruded between the sternites where it resembles flakes of dandruff It is secreted by the queen when she starts a nest and by young workers It is scraped from the abdomen by the legs moulded until malleable and used in the construction of honeypots to cover the eggs to line empty cocoons for use as storage containers and sometimes to cover the exterior of the nest 28 Colorationedit Cuckoo bumblebees like this Bombus barbutellus have similar aposematic warning coloration to nestmaking bumblebees and may also mimic their host species Further information aposematism and mimicry The brightly coloured pile of the bumblebee is an aposematic warning signal given that females can inflict a painful sting Depending on the species and morph the warning colours range from entirely black to bright yellow red orange white and pink 29Dipteran flies in the families Syrphidae hoverflies Asilidae robber flies Tabanidae horseflies Oestridae bot or warble flies and Bombyliidae bee flies all include Batesian mimics of bumblebees resembling them closely enough to deceive at least some predators 30 Many species of Bombus including the group sometimes called Psithyrus cuckoo bumblebees have evolved Müllerian mimicry where the different bumblebees in a region resemble each other so that a young predator need only learn to avoid any of them once For example in California a group of bumblebees consists of largely black species including B californicus B caliginosus B vandykei B vosnesenskii B insularis and B fernaldae Other bees in California include a group of species all banded black and yellow In each case Müllerian mimicry provides the bees in the group with a selective advantage 30 In addition parasitic cuckoo bumblebees resemble their hosts more closely than would be expected by chance at least in areas like Europe where parasitehost cospeciation is common but this too may be explained as Müllerian mimicry rather than requiring the parasites coloration to deceive the host aggressive mimicry 31 Temperature controledit Bumblebees are active in conditions when honeybees stay at home and can readily absorb heat from even weak sunshine 32 The thick pile created by long setae bristles acts as insulation to keep bumblebees warm in cold weather species from cold climates have longer setae and thus thicker insulation than those from the tropics 33 The temperature of the flight muscles which occupy much of the thorax needs to be at least 30 °C 86 °F before flight can take place The muscle temperature can be raised by shivering It takes about five minutes for the muscles to reach this temperature at an air temperature of 13 °C 55 °F 34 Chillcoma temperatureedit The chillcoma temperature in relation to flying insects is the temperature at which flight muscles cannot be activated Compared to honey bees and carpenter bees bumblebees have the lowest chillcoma temperature Of the bumblebees Bombus bimaculatus has the lowest at 7 °C 45 °F However bumblebees have been seen to fly in colder ambient temperatures This discrepancy is likely because the chillcoma temperature was determined by tests done in a laboratory setting However bumblebees live in insulated shelters and can shiver to warm up before venturing into the cold 35 Communication and social learningedit Bumblebees do not have ears and it is not known whether or how well they can hear However they are sensitive to the vibrations made by sound travelling through wood or other materials 28 Bumblebees do not exhibit the bee dances used by honeybees to tell other workers the locations of food sources Instead when they return from a successful foraging expedition they run excitedly around in the nest for several minutes before going out to forage once more These bees may be offering some form of communication based on the buzzing sounds made by their wings which may stimulate other bees to start foraging 36 Another stimulant to foraging activity is the level of food reserves in the colony Bees monitor the amount of honey in the honeypots and when little is left or when high quality food is added they are more likely to go out to forage 37 Bumblebees have been observed to partake in social learning In a 2017 study involving Bombus terrestris bees were taught to complete an unnatural task of moving large objects to obtain a reward Bees that first observed another bee complete the task were significantly more successful in learning the task than bees that observed the same action performed by a magnet indicating the importance of social information The bees did not copy each other exactly in fact the study suggested that the bees were instead attempting to emulate each others goals 3839 Reproduction and nestingedit Nest of redtailed bumblebee Bombus lapidarius showing wax pots full of honey Further information haplodiploidy and worker policing Nest size depends on species of bumblebee Most form colonies of between 50 and 400 individuals40 but colonies have been documented as small as ~20 individuals and as large as 1700 41 These nests are small compared to honeybee hives which hold about 50000 bees Many species nest underground choosing old rodent burrows or sheltered places and avoiding places that receive direct sunlight that could result in overheating Other species make nests above ground whether in thick grass or in holes in trees A bumblebee nest is not organised into hexagonal combs like that of a honeybee the cells are instead clustered together untidily The workers remove dead bees or larvae from the nest and deposit them outside the nest entrance helping to prevent disease Nests in temperate regions last only for a single season and do not survive the winter 40 In the early spring the queen comes out of diapause and finds a suitable place to create her colony Then she builds wax cells in which to lay her eggs which were fertilised the previous year The eggs that hatch develop into female workers and in time the queen populates the colony with workers feeding the young and performing other duties similar to honeybee workers In temperate zones young queens gynes leave the nest in the autumn and mate often more than once with males drones that are forcibly driven out of the colony 42 The drones and workers die as the weather turns colder the young queens feed intensively to build up stores of fat for the winter They survive in a resting state diapause generally below ground until the weather warms up in the spring with the early bumblebee being the species that is among the first to emerge 424344 Many species of bumblebee follow this general trend within the year Bombus pensylvanicus is a species that follows this type of colony cycle 45 For this species the cycle begins in February reproduction starts in July or August and ends in the winter months The queen remains in hibernation until spring of the following year in order to optimize conditions to search for a nest 46 Bumblebee lifecycle showing adults and larvae in nest of B terrestris Engraved in 1840 by William Home Lizars after drawing probably by James Hope Stewart 47 In fertilised queens the ovaries only become active when the queen starts to lay An egg passes along the oviduct to the vagina where there is a chamber called the spermatheca in which the sperm from the mating is stored Depending on need she may allow her egg to be fertilised Unfertilised eggs become haploid males fertilised eggs grow into diploid females and queens 48 The hormones that stimulate the development of the ovaries are suppressed in female worker bees while the queen remains dominant 42 To develop the larvae must be fed both nectar for carbohydrates and pollen for protein Bumblebees feed nectar to the larvae by chewing a small hole in the brood cell into which they regurgitate nectar Larvae are fed pollen in one of two ways depending on the bumblebee species Pocketmaking bumblebees create pockets of pollen at the base of the broodcell clump from which the larvae feed themselves Pollenstoring bumblebees keep pollen in separate wax pots and feed it to the larvae 49 An aboveground nest hidden in grass and moss of the common carder bee Bombus pascuorum The wax canopy or involucrum has been removed to show winged workers and pupae in irregularly placed wax cells After the emergence of the first or second group of offspring workers take over the task of foraging and the queen spends most of her time laying eggs and caring for larvae The colony grows progressively larger and eventually begins to produce males and new queens 42 Unlike the workers of more advanced social insects such as honeybees bumblebee workers are fertile and can lay unfertilised haploid eggs with only a single set of chromosomes that develop into viable male bumblebees Only fertilised queens can lay diploid eggs one set of chromosomes from a drone one from the queen that mature into workers and new queens 50 In a young colony the queen minimises reproductive competition from workers by suppressing their egglaying through physical aggression and pheromones 51Worker policing leads to nearly all eggs laid by workers being eaten 52 Thus the queen is usually the mother of all of the first males laid Workers eventually begin to lay male eggs later in the season when the queens ability to suppress their reproduction diminishes 53 Because of the reproductive competition between workers and the queen bumblebees are considered primitively eusocial 1052 Although a large majority of bumblebees follow such monogynous colony cycles that only involve one queen some select Bombus species such as Bombus atratus will spend part of their life cycle in a polygynous phase have multiple queens in one nest during these periods of polygyny 54 Foraging behaviouredit Further information Bumblebee communication and nectar robbing A bumblebee loaded with pollen in its pollen baskets Bumblebees generally visit flowers that exhibit the bee pollination syndrome and these patches of flowers may be up to 1–2 km from their colony 55 They tend to visit the same patches of flowers every day as long as they continue to find nectar and pollen there56 a habit known as pollinator or flower constancy While foraging bumblebees can reach ground speeds of up to 15 metres per second 54 kmh 57 Bumblebees use a combination of colour and spatial relationships to learn from which flowers to forage 58 They can also detect both the presence and the pattern of electric fields on flowers which occur due to atmospheric electricity and take a while to leak away into the ground They use this information to find out if a flower has been recently visited by another bee 59 After arriving at a flower they extract nectar using their long tongues glossae and store it in their crops Many species of bumblebees also exhibit nectar robbing instead of inserting the mouthparts into the flower in the normal way these bees bite directly through the base of the corolla to extract nectar avoiding pollen transfer 60 A bumblebee nectar robbing a flower Pollen is removed from flowers deliberately or incidentally by bumblebees Incidental removal occurs when bumblebees come in contact with the anthers of a flower while collecting nectar When it enters a flower the bumblebees body hairs receive a dusting of pollen from the anthers In queens and workers this is then groomed into the corbiculae pollen baskets on the hind legs where it can be seen as bulging masses that may contain as many as a million pollen grains Male bumblebees do not have corbiculae and do not purposively collect pollen 61 Bumblebees are also capable of buzz pollination in which they dislodge pollen from the anthers by creating a resonant vibration with their flight muscles 62 In at least some species once a bumblebee has visited a flower it leaves a scent mark on it This scent mark deters bumblebees from visiting that flower until the scent degrades 63 This scent mark is a general chemical bouquet that bumblebees leave behind in different locations e g nest neutral and food sites64 and they learn to use this bouquet to identify both rewarding and unrewarding flowers65 and may be able to identify who else has visited a flower 66 Bumblebees rely on this chemical bouquet more when the flower has a high handling time that is where it takes a longer time for the bee to find the nectar once inside the flower 67 Once they have collected nectar and pollen female workers return to the nest and deposit the harvest into brood cells or into wax cells for storage Unlike honeybees bumblebees only store a few days worth of food so are much more vulnerable to food shortages 68 Male bumblebees collect only nectar and do so to feed themselves They may visit quite different flowers from the workers because of their different nutritional needs 69 Asynchronous flight musclesedit Bees beat their wings about 200 times a second Their thorax muscles do not contract on each nerve firing but rather vibrate like a plucked rubber band This is efficient since it lets the system consisting of muscle and wing operate at its resonant frequency leading to low energy consumption Further it is necessary since insect motor nerves generally cannot fire 200 times per second 70 These types of muscles are called asynchronous muscles71 and are found in the insect wing systems in families such as Hymenoptera Diptera Coleoptera and Hemiptera 70 Bumblebees must warm up their bodies considerably to get airborne at low ambient temperatures Bumblebees have been known to reach an internal thoracic temperature of 30 °C 86 °F using this method 2272 Cuckoo bumblebeesedit The cuckoo bumblebee B vestalis a parasite of B terrestris Main article Psithyrus Bumblebees of the subgenus Psithyrus known as cuckoo bumblebees and formerly considered a separate genus are brood parasites73 sometimes called kleptoparasites74 in the colonies of other bumblebees and have lost the ability to collect pollen Before finding and invading a host colony a Psithyrus female such as that of the Psithyrus species of B sylvestris75 feeds directly from flowers Once she has infiltrated a host colony the Psithyrus female kills or subdues the queen of that colony and uses pheromones and physical attacks to force the workers of that colony to feed her and her young 76 Usually cuckoo bumblebees can be described as queenintolerant inquilines since the host queen is often killed to enable the parasite to produce more offspring73 though some species such as B bohemicus actually enjoy increased success when they leave the host queen alive 77 The female Psithyrus has a number of morphological adaptations for combat such as larger mandibles a tough cuticle and a larger venom sac that increase her chances of taking over a nest 78 Upon emerging from their cocoons the Psithyrus males and females disperse and mate The males do not survive the winter but like nonparasitic bumblebee queens Psithyrus females find suitable locations to spend the winter and enter diapause after mating They usually emerge from hibernation later than their host species Each species of cuckoo bee has a specific host species which it may physically resemble 79 In the case of the parasitism of B terrestris by B Psithyrus vestalis genetic analysis of individuals captured in the wild showed that about 42 of the host species nests at a single locationa had lost their fight against their parasite 73 Stingedit Queen and worker bumblebees can sting Unlike in honeybees a bumblebees sting lacks barbs so the bee can sting repeatedly without injuring itself by the same token the sting is not left in the wound 8081 Bumblebee species are not normally aggressive but may sting in defence of their nest or if harmed Female cuckoo bumblebees aggressively attack host colony members and sting the host queen but ignore other animals unless disturbed 82 Predators parasites and pathogensedit Bumblebee nest dug up and destroyed by a predator probably a badger Bumblebees despite their ability to sting are eaten by certain predators Nests may be dug up by badgers and eaten whole including any adults present 83 Adults are preyed upon by robber flies and beewolves in North America 84 In Europe birds including beeeaters and shrikes capture adult bumblebees on the wing smaller birds such as great tits also occasionally learn to take bumblebees while camouflaged crab spiders catch them as they visit flowers 85 Bumblebee stored as food by a great grey shrike The great grey shrike is able to detect flying bumblebees up to 100 metres away once captured the sting is removed by repeatedly squeezing the insect with the mandibles and wiping the abdomen on a branch 86 The European honey buzzard follows flying bees back to their nest digs out the nest with its feet and eats larvae pupae and adults as it finds them 87 Bumblebees are parasitised by tracheal mites Locustacarus buchneri protozoans including Crithidia bombi and Apicystis bombi and microsporidians including Nosema bombi and Nosema ceranae The tree bumblebee B hypnorum has spread into the United Kingdom despite hosting high levels of a nematode that normally interferes with queen bees attempts to establish colonies 88Deformed wing virus has been found to affect 11 of bumblebees in Great Britain 89 Relationship to humansedit Bumblebees and human culture Bombus anachoreta on a Russian postage stamp 2005 Agricultural useedit Further information List of crop plants pollinated by bees Bumblebees are important pollinators of both crops and wildflowers 90 Because bumblebees do not overwinter the entire colony they do not stockpile honey and therefore are not useful as honey producers Bumblebees are increasingly cultured for agricultural use as pollinators among other reasons because they can pollinate plants such as tomato in greenhouses by buzz pollination whereas other pollinators cannot 91 Commercial production began in 1987 when Roland De Jonghe founded the Biobest company in 1988 they produced enough nests to pollinate 40 hectares of tomatoes The industry grew quickly starting with other companies in the Netherlands Bumblebee nests mainly of bufftailed bumblebees are produced in at least 30 factories around the world over a million nests are grown annually in Europe Turkey is a major producer 92 Bumblebees are Northern Hemisphere animals When red clover was introduced as a crop to New Zealand in the nineteenth century it was found to have no local pollinators and clover seed had accordingly to be imported each year Four species of bumblebee from the United Kingdom were therefore imported as pollinators In 1885 and 1886 the Canterbury Acclimatization Society brought in 442 queens of which 93 survived and quickly multiplied As planned red clover was soon being produced from locallygrown seed 32 Bumblebees are also reared commercially to pollinate tomatoes grown in greenhouses 48 The New Zealand population of bufftailed bumblebees naturally colonised Tasmania 1500 miles away in 1992 93 Some concerns exist about the impact of the international trade in massproduced bumblebee colonies Evidence from Japan94 and South America95 indicates bumblebees can escape and naturalise in new environments causing damage to native pollinators Greater use of native pollinators such as Bombus ignitus in China and Japan has occurred as a result 96 In addition mounting evidence indicates massproduced bumblebees may also carry diseases harmful to wild bumblebees9798 and honeybees 98 In Canada and Sweden it has been shown that growing a mosaic of different crops encourages bumblebees and provides higher yields than does a monoculture of oilseed rape despite the fact that the bees were attracted to the crop 99 Population declineedit Bumblebee species are declining in Europe North America and Asia due to a number of factors including landuse change that reduces their food plants In North America pathogens are possibly having a stronger negative effect especially for the subgenus Bombus 100 A major impact on bumblebees was caused by the mechanisation of agriculture accelerated by the urgent need to increase food production during the Second World War Small farms depended on horses to pull implements and carts The horses were fed on clover and hay both of which were permanently grown on a typical farm Little artificial fertiliser was used Farms thus provided flowering clover and flowerrich meadows favouring bumblebees Mechanisation removed the need for horses and most of the clover artificial fertilisers encouraged the growth of taller grasses outcompeting the meadow flowers Most of the flowers and the bumblebees that fed on them disappeared from Britain by the early 1980s The last native British shorthaired bumblebee was captured near Dungeness in 1988 101 This significant increase in pesticide and fertilizer use associated with the industrialization of agriculture has had adverse effects on the Bombus genus The bees are directly exposed to the chemicals in two ways by consuming nectar that has been directly treated with pesticide or through physical contact with treated plants and flowers The species Bombus hortorum in particular has been found to be impacted by the pesticides their brood development has been reduced and their memory has been negatively affected Additionally pesticide use negatively impacts colony development and size 102 Bumblebees are in danger in many developed countries due to habitat destruction and collateral pesticide damage The European Food Safety Authority ruled that three neonicotinoid pesticides clothianidin imidacloprid and thiamethoxam presented a high risk for bees 103 While most work on neonicotinoid toxicity has looked at honeybees a study on B terrestris showed that fieldrealistic levels of imidacloprid significantly reduced growth rate and cut production of new queens by 85 implying a considerable negative effect on wild bumblebee populations throughout the developed world 104 Low levels of neonicotinoids can reduce the number of bumblebees in a colony by as much as 55 and cause dysfunction in the bumblebees brains The Bumblebee Conservation Trust considers this evidence of reduced brain function particularly alarming given that bumblebees rely upon their intelligence to go about their daily tasks 105 A study on B terrestris had results that suggests that use of neonicotinoid pesticides can affect how well bumblebees are able to forage and pollinate Bee colonies that had been affected by the pesticide released more foragers and collected more pollen than bees who had not been dosed with neonicotinoid 106 Although the bees affected by the pesticide were able to collect more pollen they took a longer amount of time doing so 107 Of 19 species of native nestmaking bumblebees and six species of cuckoo bumblebees formerly widespread in Britain108 three have been extirpated109110 eight are in serious decline and only six remain widespread 111 Similar declines have been reported in Ireland with four species designated endangered and another two considered vulnerable to extinction 112 A decline in bumblebee numbers could cause largescale changes to the countryside resulting from inadequate pollination of certain plants 113 Some bumblebees native to North America are also vanishing such as Bombus balteatus114Bombus terricola115Bombus affinis116117 and Bombus occidentalis and one Bombus franklini may be extinct 118 In South America Bombus bellicosus was extirpated in the northern limit of its distribution range probably due to intense land use and climate change effects 119 Conservation effortsedit Drone shorthaired bumblebee Bombus subterraneus The species was successfully reintroduced to England from Sweden In 2006 the bumblebee researcher Dave Goulson founded a registered charity the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to prevent the extinction of any of the UKs bumblebees 120121 In 2009 and 2010 the Trust attempted to reintroduce the shorthaired bumblebee Bombus subterraneus which had become extinct in Britain from the Britishderived populations surviving in New Zealand from their introduction there a century earlier 122 From 2011 the Trust in partnership with Natural England Hymettus and the RSPB has reintroduced shorthaired bumblebee queens from Skåne in southern Sweden to restored flowerrich meadows at Dungeness in Kent The queens were checked for mites and American foulbrood disease Agrienvironment schemes spread across the neighbouring area of Romney Marsh have been set up to provide over 800 hectares of additional flowerrich habitat for the bees By the summer of 2013 workers of the species were found near the release zone proving that nests had been established The restored habitat has produced a revival in at least five Schedule 41 priority species the ruderal bumblebee Bombus ruderatus the redshanked carder bee Bombus ruderarius the shrill carder bee Bombus sylvarum the brownbanded carder bee Bombus humilis and the moss carder bee Bombus muscorum 123 The worlds first bumblebee sanctuary was established at Vane Farm in the Loch Leven National Nature Reserve in Scotland in 2008 113 In 2011 Londons Natural History Museum led the establishment of an International Union for the Conservation of Nature Bumblebee Specialist Group chaired by Dr Paul H Williams124 to assess the threat status of bumblebee species worldwide using Red List criteria 125 Bumblebee conservation is in its infancy in many parts of the world but with the realization of the important part they play in pollination of crops efforts are being made to manage farmland better Enhancing the wild bee population can be done by the planting of wildflower strips and in New Zealand bee nesting boxes have achieved some success perhaps because there are few burrowing mammals to provide potential nesting sites in that country 126 Misconception about flightedit A widely believed falsehood holds that scientists proved bumblebees to be incapable of flight 127 Further information Insect flight According to 20thcentury folklore the laws of aerodynamics prove the bumblebee should be incapable of flight as it does not have the capacity in terms of wing size or beats per second to achieve flight with the degree of wing loading necessary 128 Supposedly someone did a back of the envelope calculation taking the weight of a bumblebee and its wing area into account and worked out that if it only flies at a couple of metres per second the wings wouldnt produce enough lift to hold the bee up explains Charlie Ellington Professor of Animal Mechanics at Cambridge University 128 The origin of this claim has been difficult to pin down with any certainty John H McMasters recounted an anecdote about an unnamed Swiss aerodynamicist at a dinner party who performed some rough calculations and concluded presumably in jest that according to the equations bumblebees cannot fly 129 In later years McMasters has backed away from this origin suggesting there could be multiple sources and the earliest he has found was a reference in the 1934 book Le Vol des Insectes by French entomologist Antoine Magnan 1881–1938 they had applied the equations of air resistance to insects and found their flight was impossible but One shouldnt be surprised that the results of the calculations dont square with reality 130 The following passage appears in the introduction to Le Vol des Insectes131 Tout dabord poussé par ce qui se fait en aviation jai appliqué aux insectes les lois de la résistance de lair et je suis arrivé avec M SainteLaguë à cette conclusion que leur vol est impossible This translates to First prompted by what is done in aviation I applied the laws of air resistance to insects and I arrived with Mr SainteLaguë at this conclusion that their flight is impossible Magnan refers to his assistant André SainteLaguë 132 Some credit physicist Ludwig Prandtl 1875–1953 of the University of Göttingen in Germany with popularizing the idea Others say Swiss gas dynamicist Jacob Ackeret 1898–1981 did the calculations 133 Bumblebee in flight It has its tongue extended and a laden pollen basket The calculations that purported to show that bumblebees cannot fly are based upon a simplified linear treatment of oscillating aerofoils The method assumes small amplitude oscillations without flow separation This ignores the effect of dynamic stall an airflow separation inducing a large vortex above the wing which briefly produces several times the lift of the aerofoil in regular flight More sophisticated aerodynamic analysis shows the bumblebee can fly because its wings encounter dynamic stall in every oscillation cycle 134 Additionally John Maynard Smith a noted biologist with a strong background in aeronautics has pointed out that bumblebees would not be expected to sustain flight as they would need to generate too much power given their tiny wing area However in aerodynamics experiments with other insects he found that viscosity at the scale of small insects meant even their small wings can move a very large volume of air relative to their size and this reduces the power required to sustain flight by an order of magnitude 135 In music and literatureedit Flight of the Bumblebee Flight of the Bumblebee performed by the US Army Band Problems playing this file See media help The Russian composer Nikolai RimskyKorsakov wrote the Flight of the Bumblebee c 1900 The orchestral interlude Flight of the Bumblebee was composed c 1900 by Nikolai RimskyKorsakov It represents the turning of Prince Guidon into a bumblebee so he can fly away to visit his father Tsar Saltan in the opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan136 although the music may reflect the flight of a bluebottle rather than a bumblebee 137 The music inspired Walt Disney to feature a bumblebee in his 1940 animated musical Fantasia and have it sound as if it were flying in all parts of the theater This early attempt at surround sound was unsuccessful and the music was excluded from the films release 138 In 1599 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I someone possibly Tailboys Dymoke published Caltha Poetarum Or The Bumble Bee under the pseudonym T Cutwode 139 This was one of nine books censored under the Bishops Ban issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury John Whitgift and the Bishop of London Richard Bancroft 140 Emily Dickinson wrote a poem about a bumblebee Daguerreotype c 1848 Emily Dickinson made a bumblebee the subject of her parody of Isaac Wattss wellknown poem about honeybees How Doth the Little Busy Bee 1715 Where Watts wrote How skilfully she builds her cell How neat she spreads the wax141 Dickinsons poem The BumbleBees Religion 1881 begins His little Hearselike Figure Unto itself a Dirge To a delusive Lilac The vanity divulge Of Industry and Morals And every righteous thing For the divine Perdition of Idleness and Spring The letter was said to have enclosed a dead bee 142143 The entomologist Otto Plath wrote Bumblebees and Their Ways in 1934 144 His daughter the poet Sylvia Plath wrote a group of poems about bees late in 1962 within four months of her suicide145 transforming her fathers interest into her poetry 146 Bumblebees of different species illustrated by Moses Harris in his 1782 Exposition of English Insects The scientist and illustrator Moses Harris 1731–1785 painted accurate watercolour drawings of bumblebees in his An Exposition of English Insects Including the Several Classes of Neuroptera Hymenoptera & Diptera or Bees Flies & Libellulae 1776–80 147 Bumblebees appear as characters often eponymously in childrens books The surname Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series 1997–2007 is an old name for bumblebee 7J K Rowling said the name seemed to suit the headmaster because one of his passions is music and I imagined him walking around humming to himself 148 Among the many books for younger children are Bumble the Bee by Yvon Douran and Tony Neal 2014 Bertie Bumble Bee by K I AlGhani 2012 Ben the Bumble Bee How do bees make honey by Romessa Awadalla 2015 Bumble Bee Bob Has a Big Butt by Papa Campbell 2012 Buzz Buzz Buzz Went Bumblebee by Colin West 1997 Bumble Bee by Margaret Wise Brown 2000 How the Bumble Came to Bee by Paul and Ella Quarry 2012 The Adventures of Professor Bumble and the Bumble Bees by Stephen Brailovsky 2010 Among Beatrix Potters little books Babbity Bumble and other members of her nest appear in The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse 1910 Bumblebee is the name of a prominent character in the Transformers franchise His name denotes his blackonyellow vehicle paint job directly referencing the bee genus because of its black and yellow stripes Bumblebee is also the name of an automotive racing stripe that wraps around the grill instead of down the centre of the vehicle it can be found mainly on Chevrolet Camaros which happens to be the Transformers Autobots most popular vehicle mode See alsoedit Ophrys bombyliflora the bumblebee orchid The study location was the Botanical Garden Halle Saale in Germany described as a flowerrich region with high and stable abundance of both host and cuckoo species 24 B terrestris workers and 24 drones were captured on foraging flights 24 male B vestalis were similarly captured DNA analysis was used to estimate how many colonies these individuals came from 73 Referencesedit Williams Paul H 1998 An annotated checklist of bumble bees with an analysis of patterns of description Bulletin of the Natural History Museum Entomology 67 79–152 Retrieved 30 May 2012 Brown Lesley Stevenson Angus 2007 Shorter Oxford English dictionary on historical principles Oxford Oxfordshire Oxford University Press p 309 ISBN 019923325X Wiktionary entry for bombus bumblebee n Oxford English Dictionary Oxford University Press Retrieved 29 May 2011 humblebee n Oxford English Dictionary Oxford University Press Retrieved 29 May 2011 Shakespeare William 1 July 2000 A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare – Project Gutenberg Gutenberg org 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aimed at putting down those knowitall scientists and engineers who are so smart yet cant manage to understand something thats apparent to everyone else the story has had remarkable staying power and the myth persists that science says a bumblebee cant fly Indeed this myth has taken on a new life of its own as a piece of urban folklore on the Internet a b The secrets of bee flight Retrieved 12 February 2015 McMasters John H March–April 1989 The flight of the bumblebee and related myths of entomological engineering American Scientist 77 146–169 Bibcode1989AmSci 77 164M cited in Jay Ingram 2001 The Barmaids Brain Aurum Press pp 91–92 ISBN 1854106333 Jay Ingram 2001 The Barmaids Brain Aurum Press pp 91–92 ISBN 1854106333 Magnan Antoine 1934 Le Vol des Insectes Hermann The bumblebee story can be traced back to a 1934 book by entomologist Antoine Magnan who refers to a calculation by his assistant André SainteLaguë who was an engineer The conclusion was presumably based on the fact that the maximum possible lift produced by aircraft wings as small as a bumblebees wings and traveling as slowly as a bee in flight would be much less than the weight of a bee Dickinson M 2001 Solving the mystery of insect flight Scientific American 284 6 48–57 PMID 11396342 doi10 1038scientificamerican060148 Bumblebees Cant Fly Snopes Retrieved 9 April 2013 Bumblebees finally cleared for takeoff Cornell Chronicle 20 March 2000 Retrieved 26 January 2008 John Maynard Smith Flight in Birds and Aeroplanes – Science Video Retrieved 20 June 2010 Maes Francis 2002 A history of Russian music from Kamarinskaya to Babi Yar University of California Press p 191 ISBN 9780520218154 Retrieved 3 April 2010 Maconie Robin 1997 The science of music Oxford University Press p 184 ISBN 9780198166481 Retrieved 3 April 2010 Holman Tomlinson 2007 Surround sound up and running Focal Press pp 3–4 ISBN 9780240808291 Retrieved 3 April 2010 Caltha poetarum or The bumble bee Composed by T Cutvvode Esquyre University of 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Worldwide Species Map Deciphering the Mystery of Bee Flight