Bumblebees are large, fuzzy, very hairy insects that are black and yellow colored or in some species orange or red. Size varies by species but adults may be up to a little over one inch long. They differ from carpenter bees, which have a solid black, shiny and hairless abdomen. Bumblebees have a large structure on their hind legs known as a pollen basket that is often loaded with pollen collected by foraging adults. Female bumblebees have a stinger and a pointed abdomen, while males do not have a stinger and have a rounded abdomen.
Bumble bees carry large pollen baskets on their hind legs. Pollen will also cling to their hairy abdomens to be deposited during their successive visits from blossom to blossom before returning to their hives. Hives are a place of communal activity where the gathered pollen is converted to food, offspring are fed, and the hive itself enlarged as food sources increase during the flowering season. Its well know that these pollinators, like other social fauna, will defend their home from intruders. They also keep it cool during hot weather by aligning themselves in staggered lines and using their wings to fan the hive. Bumblebees are among nature’s most fascinating — and necessary — creatures.