Sonoran Bumble Bee

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What do Sonoran bumble bees look like?

a sonoran bumble bee in tempe az

Sonoran bumble bees are large hairy bees growing 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches long. They are yellow and black in coloring and have hairy legs that they use to collect and carry pollen to the hive.

Life cycle of the Sonoran bumble bee

Complete metamorphosis

The queen places pollen in the middle of the nest in which she lays her eggs, and then she seals it with a wax covering. She also makes a honeypot, a wax cup filled with nectar, which she feeds from while waiting for the larvae to emerge. The larvae feed on the pollen inside their wax covering, and then the queen continues to feed them through an opening in the wax covering. The larvae spin cocoons when they are ready, and then emerge in their adult form. At the end of summer, the queen produces unfertilized eggs that develop into drones. Females produced during this time become new queens. The drones and workers die and the new, mated queens fly to a new nest site.

Habits of Sonoran bumble bees

  • Diet: Flower nectar.
  • Activity: Active in the springtime and early Fall. Travel in small colonies from a few dozen to several hundred.
  • Preferred Climate: Temperate climates
  • Defense: Loud buzzing sound and painful stings.
  • Cautions: Painful stings
  • Home Invasion: Most nest in or near the ground in previously occupied burrows or crevices, but will occupy empty cavities in home structures. This includes under decks or patios, attics, stairways or in eaves of the home. They may also take harbor in woodpiles, leaf piles, or landscaping timber.

Are Sonoran bumble bees dangerous?

Bee stings can produce different reactions, ranging from temporary pain and discomfort to a severe allergic reaction.

Where do Sonoran bumble bees nest?

Sonoran bumble bees are considered ground nesting bees and will on occasion nest in roof eaves or gables inside insulation material. 

Helpful hints related to the Sonoran bumble bee

Clear away debris that could be potential harborage sites. If bee activity is found, contact a local pest control company for service.

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