Van Dyke’s Bumble Bee

The Van Dyke’s Bumble Bee (Bombus vandykei) is a social bee in the family Apidae, found in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bumble bees have annual colonies and are present most of the flowering season. Similar to honey bees, bumble bee hives organize themselves in three castes: workers, drones and queens. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees of all three castes can be found foraging at flowers. Queens emerge early in the season, as early as January for some species. Workers are common from spring until fall, and new queens and males are produced at the end of the colony season.

Van Dyke’s bumble bees are social bees that nest underground in abandoned rodent burrows. They may also nest in tufts of grass at ground level, or occasionally in abandoned bird nests in cavities.

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