I just received a newsletter from BumbleBeeWatch.org, and it has some of the most interesting information on Bumblebees that I’ve read in a while. Since I don’t see a blog on their website, I thought I’d share a bit of it here.
Most bumble bee colonies are well advanced and have a complete worker caste, so they have switched to producing the colony’s reproductive members. Because creating queens takes more resources from the colony than producing workers or males, the colony can only accomplish this once it has a worker caste large enough to provision the nest appropriately. Since the number of new queens (and not the total number of bees in a nest) is the measure of reproductive success, this is a critical time of year for all bumble bees. Ensuring they have enough food to eat between now and the end of the season will determine the strength of next year’s population.
So one of the best ways to help bumblebees (which are declining at a truly alarming rate – never mind honeybees!) is to have lots of pollinator flowers in the garden that bloom into the fall.
I’m not affiliated with the organization, just a big fan. If you love bumblebees, You should sign up!