[NAFEX] Bumble aggression

Bob Kelly Bkelly66 at bellsouth.net
Mon Apr 21 15:05:27 EDT 2003


Re: [NAFEX] bumble bee as pollinatorI think it is typical of all bees that males don't work or sting, isn't it?  Certainly different species will have varying nesting habits and degrees of aggression.

Bob Kelly
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Mark Lee 
  To: North American Fruit Explorers 
  Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 1:45 PM
  Subject: RE: [NAFEX] Bumble aggression


  I wonder if the species of bumble bee makes a difference.  The common one in the Pacific Northwest is Bombus occidentalis.  Only the queen and female worker bees (the future queens) have stingers.  The male drones that show up later in the summer have no stingers.

  Here are some more facts about this interesting pollinator.. 
  (from the site http://hercules.users.netlink.co.uk/Bee.html)
  "The drones once hatched leave the nest and live independent lives, their only purpose being to mate with the young queens to ensure the survival of the species. Unlike honey bees the young bumble queens will continue to live and work in the mother colony for the remainder of the Summer and Autumn.  Come the first sharp drop in temperature and frosts the old queen, her workers and the independent drones will die. Only the newly mated queens will survive in hibernation to begin the cycle again the following Spring." 
  -Mark Lee, Seattle, z7b/8a



    -----Original Message-----
    From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Bob Kelly
    Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 11:19 AM
    To: North American Fruit Explorers
    Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Bumble aggression


    Yeah, Gene.  That is more like my experience.  When growing up in the Mississippi Delta, I can remember accidentally disturbing  bumblebee nests.  The sting would almost knock you down. (Like a hornet, I was told, tho I was never stung by one of those.) While the sting was very potent, the pain did not linger, the way a yellow jacket sting would (like for several days).

    Their procedure, when disturbed, was to emerge from their hole in the ground, and begin flying in an ever widening circle at about 3 feet above the ground.  Supposedly their vision is poor, so this is their search procedure.  If one realized he had disturbed the nest, he had time to retreat.

    Bob Kelly
    NW Mississippi Zone 7b

    ----- Original Message ----- 
      From: Gene Spears 
      To: 'North American Fruit Explorers' 
      Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 1:00 PM
      Subject: [NAFEX] Bumble aggression


          In my experience, disturbing a wild bumblebee nest is a "stimulating" event.  Sometimes, I'll accidentally scythe around a nest entrance & get an unexpected bit of sprint training, usually after a very painful sting or two.  Not quite as bad as yellow jackets for mass attacks, but still pretty aggressive....

      gene
      spears at lmc.edu
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Lon J. Rombough [mailto:lonrom at hevanet.com]
        Sent: Monday, April 21, 2003 1:53 PM
        To: North American Fruit Explorers
        Subject: Re: [NAFEX] bumble bee as pollinator


        That's the most aggressive behavior I've ever heard of in bumble bees.  Are you sure you didn't have a species of underground living wasp?  
        -Lon Rombough


          From: "Bruce Hansen" <brucehansen at acd.net>
          Reply-To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
          Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 13:49:38 -0400
          To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
          Subject: RE: [NAFEX] bumble bee as pollinator

          Mark:

          I have found a similar thing with bumble bees. However, if you disturb their
          nest they will chase you. I did this and was chased from the barn to the
          house (100 yds)where, to escape, I closed the screen door behind me. The bee
          buzzed the screen several times and then waited for me to come out.


        Bruce z5 MI



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