Blueberrytalk's Weblog

Everything connected to growing blueberries

Bumblebees

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 17, 2008

It takes some searching to find Mason bees at work. Honey bees are more numerous and larger so they are easy to see. But you don’t have to look for the Queen bumblebee. She finds you. And then she circles around you with a loud buzzing sound.

There will be no more Mason bees than the number at the beginning of the season. Any increase will show up next year. The honeybee colony can be expected to grow as pollination proceeds so the last berry blossoms will have higher bee intensity. The queen bumblebees that are around when the first blueberry blossums open will soon disappear. In their place will be many more worker bumblebees. These workers are partialy developed females that help the colony develop by supplying food for the larvae. The queen remains in the nest laying eggs and keeping them warm. The workers are smaller than the queen and go about their work without bothering to “buzz” humans. The number of workers approaching the end of the blueberry harvest can be quite amazing. In the field their numbers can rival the number of honeybees. On top of that, bumblebees are the number one pollinator with their ability to deposit many more grains of pollen.

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