Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bumble bee observation nest

I went to an open house event at an agricultural research facility, and I saw something that is really cool: A bumble bee nest!

The plastic top of the box that they are in is a little cloudy, so it is not possible to get a really clear picture. But you can still make out the pollen pots and see some individual bees. While I was observing them, I saw a new worker crawl out of the cell where it developed!

Pretty soon, these bees will start producing lots of drones and queens. The queens will mate and then hibernate underground for the winter. The drones and the worker bees will die in the fall. In the spring, the queens will emerge and look for a new nest so they can start laying eggs and start the whole process over.

From what I understand from the host of this display, the bees were purchased earlier this year and are used for pollination.
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