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Author Topic: what am i seeing?  (Read 1373 times)
House Bee
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Posts: 80

Location: michigan

« on: August 20, 2004, 09:57:23 PM »

i was shoveling gravel (don't ask) earlier this evening when i saw the strangest thing... a REALLY BIG BUMBLEBEE (the biggest i've ever seen, it could've taken on a hummingbird and done okay) with a much smaller (about the size of a honeybee drone but fatter) hanging off the back end.  The big bee landed on my three year old's foot (this a week after she slapped a yellow jacket into her forehead and it stung her...and she still wants to be a bee for Halloween) and i waved it/them off whereupon it flew away (rather drunkenly since it REALLY wasn't aerodynamically sound with the attached rider) .  What did i see?  do bumbles have queens? produce drones?  are they that much smaller than the queens?  was this a mating flight or a bee fight?  has anyone else seen this?  

Those who are merciful to the cruel become callous to the meek.
House Bee
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Posts: 244

Location: salt lake city

« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2004, 10:21:07 PM »

Its been along time, but I "bee lined" and found a bumblebee nest once.  Did a little research before I dug them up.  If I remember right, the queen is the sole survivor over winter.  The balance of the colony perishes, and she starts over in the spring.  They store honey in leathery wax pouches.  Amazing how little they had stored when I dug them out.  One thing to keep in mind.. they don't have a barbed stinger like honeybees.   I think it was the same bee that stung me eight times as it angrily walked up my arm.  I went back home and put on a couple more layers.  It didn't help much.  The small colony of maybe 2 dozen critters was mad as hell, which seems completely out of character for the big oafs.  Anyway, with so little booty, and large welts all over me, I resolved to leave them alone from that time forward.
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