Bumblebees are social insects. They live in a nest of up to 400 individuals, ruled by a queen. After hibernating throughout the winter, the queen emerges in spring to start a new nest. She lays several batches of eggs throughout the summer, which she sits on and incubates by shivering her flight muscles to generate enough heat to keep them close to 30oC. These eggs develop into the female workers, whose job it is to feed and nurture the colony.
Towards the end of the summer the queen produces male offspring, along with new queens. After mating, the males die off, as do the old queen and workers. Only the new, fertilised queens survive to hibernate through the winter, in order to start nests of their own the following spring.
Bumblebees do produce honey! However, they only produce it in very small amounts, unlike honeybees, which produce enough honey for humans to harvest.
Bumblebees are not at all aggressive, and will only sting if they feel very threatened. Only the females can sting.
Bumblebees have smelly feet! After feeding, they leave a chemical scent on the flower to warn other bumblebees to avoid that flower because the nectar has already been taken.
Bumblebees eat nectar and pollen and may fly over a mile from their nest to find food.
Different bumblebee species have different length tongues, which suit them to visiting different flowers. So, several species can happily live alongside one another, provided a range of different flowers are present.