9 Fascinating Bumblebee Facts You Should Know

Updated: Mar. 18, 2024

Get to know interesting bumblebee facts, including where these important pollinators live and if all bumblebees have a stinger.

Bumblebees Are Found Around the World

bumblebee on gooseneck loosestrife flowerCourtesy Chantal Caron
Bumblebee on gooseneck loosestrife

It’s a big world—in fact, about 250 bumblebee species live around the globe, with more than 40 in North America.

Learn about more beneficial bees you want in your garden.

Not All Bumblebees Have a Stinger

This one of our bumblebee facts might help you feel safer. If you fret about being stung, you need only look out for two bumblebee types: the Queen and female worker bees. Males don’t have a stinger!

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Some Bumblebees Are Endangered

Shutterstock 1470653771 0001Shutterstock / Serge Vo
Rusty patched bumblebee gathering pollen

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 simple ways you can help the bees.

Bumblebees Form Large Families

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 best 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 vs flies.

Bumblebees vs. Honeybees

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.

Bumblebees Are Important Pollinators

Be kind to bumblebees—around 70% of flowering plants rely on the work done by pollinators like bumblebees.

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Bumblebee Wings Beat Very Fast

Bnbbyc17 Keith DiragoCourtesy Keith Dirago
Bumblebee at wild iris

A bumblebee’s wings beat about 200 times per second. That’s one busy bee!

Bumblebees Appear in Pop Culture

Bumblebees have made many appearances in popular culture — the Hasbro Transformer named Bumblebee made his first appearance in 1984.

After you finish learning about bumblebee facts, check out these natural ways to keep bees away from hummingbird feeders.

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