walwyn Sun, 08/07/2011 - 11:04
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Bombus pascuorum
Bombus pascuorum


The genus Bombus contains the commonly named Bumblebees. These are social insects that construct their nests underground, or in the case of the Carder bees in leaf litter beneath hedges. There are about 250 species worldwide, and 22 species resident in the UK.


The genus includes a number of cuckoo bees. The queens of these bees attempt to take over the established nests of other species. To do this they are generally similar in colour to the host bees, but a lot larger. The cuckoo queen emerges from hibernation several weeks after the hosts so that the host nests have been established. They then approach the nest and wait near the entrance for several days to acquire the scent of the nest and become accepted by the colonies worker bees. After which they enter the nest and kill the resident queen. The worker bees then tend and feed all the offspring produced by the cuckoo queen.