Working overnight for many years in the hotel business, I know a thing or two about the desire to “rest your eyes” on the job. Not saying that I did it mind you…But I understand what it feels like to find yourself dozing off at work. Not everyone’s as lucky as bumblebees. These cute little critters have the good fortune to be freelance workers who can work and rest at their own leisure! Bumblebees are very important to our ecosystem as fervent pollinators, but sadly their numbers have declined in recent years.
However, these little guys aren’t exactly “tireless” workers. Below we have a couple of adorable photos of bumblebees snoozing on the job inside of flowers, some of these critters with their backsides full of yellow pollen!
Unlike honeybees, who were introduced to America by European travelers in the 1600s, Bumblebees are native to these shores.
Unlike most native American bee species, bumblebees share one trait in common with honeybees.
Both bumblebees and honeybees are social creatures who reside in hives or have queens, while other bee species native to America fly solo.
Except for a few queens, who hibernate during the winter season, all bumblebees die off in the cold season.
The queens survive winter in small holes just beneath the surface and then emerge to lay their eggs and create new colonies in the spring.
Bumblebees are very important commercially as they pollinate many crops.
In fact, over the last 20 years, there has been a lot of demand for bumblebee pollinated peppers and berries.
And the demand for Bumblebee pollinated hothouse tomatoes have really taken off!
Often considered big and slow, Bumblebees beat their little wings at an amazing rate of 130 per second!
Their incredible wing beating ability combined with their girth allows bumblebees to perform what’s called “buzz pollination.”
Buzz pollination is when bumblebees buzz flowers until they release pollen, helping the plants produce more fruit.
Also, due to their size, bumblebees can produce more heat. This means that they usually fly earlier and later in the day.
They also like flying up to higher altitudes where it’s cooler, just like honeybees.
Sadly, the population of bumblebees, along with every other bee species on the planet, has sharply declined in recent years. A few reasons for their decline are pesticides, habitat loss, diseases, and climate change.
These little creatures work so hard and are such a vital part of our ecosystem. So, it’s understandable if they want to take a little nap from time to time.
Fortunately, there are things we can do to help our little friends out. Here’s a link with a few things we can do to help ensure these little workers stick around. You can also watch this video filled with lots of fun facts about Bumblebees.