Is the bumblebee a male domestic bee ?

Printer-friendly version
The bumblebee is not a male domestic bee.  It is a completely different species.  The confusion comes from the fact that the male domestic bee is often called a "false bumblebee".  Like the domestic bee and social wasps, bumblebees live in colonies.  The colony is founded by a queen in spring.  She gives birth to many workers who then collect pollen to feed the colony.  At the end of the summer, some males and young queens appear and mate.  The colony then dies and only the young fertilised queens survive over winter.  They create new colonies the following spring, often in an abandonned rodent's nest, or in a bundle of vegetation, or in dry moss*.
* Terzo and Rasmont 2007