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Bumblebees are representatives of the animal kingdom who often frighten our children. Their relatively large stature, their yellow-black warning stripes and their often very loud buzzing do not exactly promote their popularity. But bumblebees are not dangerous if left alone.
Bumblebees belong to the bees and live in communities of up to 600 animals. If you get closer to the bumblebees, you feel almost sad.
The bumblebees live for a very short time, and they are so valuable to our gardens. A people in Europe lives only one year, after that it is destroyed. The drones and the workers live just four weeks, the queen of a people is about a year old.
External features of bumblebee
We recognize the bumblebees in our gardens by their furry body, which looks round and almost plump. Bumblebees also have a proboscis for food intake, feelers and compound eyes. There are unlikely many species of bumblebee around the world, in Europe there are about 70 different species. There are, for example, the stone bumblebee, the field bumblebee, the dark bumblebee and the garden bumblebee.
Founding of a new people & nutrition
- In order to ensure its continued existence, a young queen seeks a place for a nest, a new people, in the spring. Depending on the bumblebee species, it can be found in the ground, in the moss or in trees. The queen collects nectar and pollen and builds the wax cells into which she then lays eggs. After various larval stages, small bumblebees hatch and the queen builds additional cells.
- Bumblebees feed themselves and their people with pollen and nectar, not least to cover their tremendous energy needs. They travel up to 18 hours a day, no matter what the weather is like.
- And there we are already in their great importance for gardeners. Bumblebees fly up to 1000 flowers a day and pollinate them. In contrast to bees, they are insensitive to temperature and very diligent. They become thereby important helpers of the most diverse plant types and to the extremely popular garden guest.
- Now it is contrary to the fact that there are fewer and fewer bumblebees and some species are already extinct. The Red List of Endangered Species currently contains 16 different bumblebee species that need to be rescued. Germany has issued special protection provisions in the Federal Nature Conservation Act and bumble bees under this legal protection.
- Important for the preservation of the bumblebees are balanced planting plans, so that there are flowering plants at any time of the year, which in turn is the bumblebee food source.
- You as a gardener can also make an active contribution to the protection of the bumblebee. Choose some of the most nectar-rich plant species for your garden, which will bloom in late summer and fall.
- And so the story of the bumblebee is a bit of a sad thing. The short life, the danger of extinction, and the amount of work these animals do deserve our protection. Help us and give these animals a home. And next time your kids get scared, tell the story of the bumblebee foraging for their people as it drones past us.