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Encyclopedia of Social Insects

Living Edition
| Editors: Christopher K. Starr

Bumble Bees (Bombus)

  • Dave GoulsonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_17-1
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The sight and sound of bumble bees buzzing from flower to flower is a treasured feature of our gardens, parks, and meadows through the northern spring and summer. Comprising about 250 species worldwide, bumble bees are all relatively large, furry bees (Fig. 1) [ 1]. Their fur is often colorful, with yellow, white, red, and black bands, providing warning signals to prospective predators that they can sting. These patterns vary greatly between and within species, but otherwise bumble bees exhibit remarkable little morphological variation, so that reliably distinguishing between species is often difficult.
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References

  1. 1.
    Goulson, D. (2010). Bumble bees; Their behaviour, ecology and conservation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (317 pages).
  2. 2.
    Goulson, D., Nicholls, E., Botías, C., & Rotheray, E. L. (2015). Combined stress from parasites, pesticides and lack of flowers drives bee declines. Science, 347, 1255957.
  3. 3.
    Leadbeater, E., & Chittka, L. (2009). The dynamics of social learning in an insect model, the bumble bee (Bombus terrestris). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 61, 1789–1796.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUK