Bumblebees in Puerto Rico
Bumblebees are large and robust insects covered with dense branched setae (hairs). They have short stubby wings and are beneficial as pollinators for many kinds of crops and ornamentals. According to the National Wildlife Federation, their wings beat at least 130 times per second. The beating helps vibrate flowers until they release pollen, which is called buzz pollination. Buzz pollination helps plants produce more fruit. Although these bees are beneficial for the environment, they can be a nuisance when they nest in or near properties in the San Juan and Ponce neighborhoods.
Compared to most types of bees, bumblebees live in small colonies. most have just a dozen to a few hundred workers. Bumblebees typically nest in the ground. They prefer to use abandoned rodent burrows and shallow cavities that are excavated beneath patio stones, landscaping timber, piles of compost, or within dense patches of grass. Above ground, they will occupy abandoned bird nests and fiberglass-insulated structural voids associated with outside walls, patio roofing, and decks.
Bumblebee Behaviors, Threats, & Dangers
Bumblebees are not likely to sting unless they are provoked. They are mostly peaceful insects, but may become more aggressive if they feel their nest is disturbed.Only female bumblebees sting and unlike honey bees, they can sting more than once. Bumblebees can sting multiple times, but they do not form swarms like honey bees. The pain from a bumblebee sting is less painful than a honey bee sting, however, a sting can be dangerous if it occurs on the head or neck, or if an individual is allergic to their venom. While bumblebees may not be as aggressive as other stinging insects, it’s still important to always contact a professional bee control company for assistance with these insects.
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