7 Fascinating Bumblebee Facts You Should Know

Get to know interesting facts about these important pollinators, including where bumblebees live and the differences between bumblebees and honeybees.

bumblebee on gooseneck loosestrife flowerCourtesy Chantal Caron
Bumblebee on gooseneck loosestrife

Bumblebees are Found Around the World

It’s a big world—in fact, about 250 bumblebee species live around the globe. Learn about 5 beneficial bees you want in your garden.

Some Bumblebees are Endangered

The rusty patched bumblebee, which was once commonly found, has been on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered list since 2017. Discover 5 simple ways you can help the bees.

Where Do Bumblebees Live?

A bumblebee colony holds anywhere from 50 to 500 individuals. These fast fliers have big families! Each colony has a queen. Bumblebees build their nests in cavities, such as hollow trees or abandoned rodent dens underground. Psst—these are the top 10 flowers that attract bees.

Bumblebees Shiver to Stay Warm

In cold temperatures, bumblebees can shiver to bring their bodies to their minimum flight temperature of 86 degrees. Here’s how to tell the difference between bees and flies.

Honeybees vs. Bumblebees

Unlike honeybees, which were first introduced to North America from Europe in the 1600s, bumblebees are native to the continent. They do produce some honey but much less than honeybees—not enough for humans to eat. Check out more facts about native bees in your backyard.

Bumblebees are Important Pollinators

Be kind to bumblebees—around 70% of flowering plants rely on the work done by pollinators like bumblebees. Check out the best plants for bees and other pollinators.

Their Wings Beat Very Fast

A bumblebee’s wings beat about 200 times per second. That’s one busy bee! Speaking of fast fliers, check out these natural ways to keep bees away from hummingbird feeders.

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Emily Hannemann
Emily Hannemann is an associate digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in magazine writing from the University of Missouri - Columbia. When she’s not writing and editing, you’ll find her swimming, running, or hiking. She knows blue jays are controversial, but she loves them anyway.