There are many species of bumblebee, all are of the genus Bombidae aka Bombus. They are not as social of insects as the honey bee.

The life cycle of the bumblebee starts out in the spring when the over wintering female sets out to find a place for a nest. She gathers food and creates a small number of cells in which to lay eggs. The first females that hatch out are sterile, even as the workers in the colonies of hive bees. They act very much like them as well until fall, when they start producing queens and drones. Many of the drones fly off in search of different hives. The queens mate with the drones and then the new queens find a place to over winter and start the cycle anew in the spring.

In tropical areas the nest will not die for years and acts very much like a hive bee colony. Even producing swarms from time to time. Some of the worker bumble bees develop the ability to lay eggs, but they can only lay drone eggs since they have not been fertilized.

For a long time it was thought that the wing surface of the Bumblebee was insufficient to provide enough lift. So it was said it was a mystery that how they could fly. It turns out that the physics of flight works somewhat differently at the scale of insects. Part of the lift comes not just from airfoil lift, like the wings of birds or airplanes use, but also create mini vortexes that add to the lift generated.

The Flight of the Bumblebee, mystery no more.

Transforms from car to robot and back!


"The least likely can be the most dangerous."

Small, eager and brave, Bumblebee acts as messenger and spy. Due to his small size, he dares to go where others can't and won't. He idolizes the bigger Autobots, especially Optimus Prime and Prowl, and strives to be accepted. He is the most energy efficient and has the best vision of all the Autobots. He can go underwater for reconnaissance and salvage missions. Although physically the weakest Autobot, his stealth more than compensates for this inadequacy.

  • Strength: 2
  • Intelligence: 8
  • Speed: 4
  • Endurance: 7
  • Rank: 7
  • Courage: 10
  • Firepower: 1
  • Skill: 7
Transformers Tech Specs

In both the cartoon and the comic book, Bumblebee was the first Autobot to make contact with humans, specifically Spike Witwicky and his father Sparkplug. From that point on he was the ride of choice for these characters and any other humans appearing in the episodes, giving him the second-most airtime in the pre-movie episodes after Optimus Prime. Some years later he was reincarnated as Goldbug, for no noticably good reason.

This is a song by Ween, from the album God Ween Satan: The Oneness.

No singing. All screaming.

A very angry guitar--which sounds actually a bit like a bumblebee if it could play in a rock band--accompanies the wails of the stung. Here, I share with you some of the pain:

weed-eating Vaughn's grass
big bumblebee came right out!
it stung me 47,000 times it hurt
it hurt
it hurt
oh god, it hurt so badly!

Yes, you read that right. 47,000 times. Perhaps Ween should not weed-eat Vaughn's grass anymore. Incidentally I have no idea who Vaughn is, though I usually do understand their obscure references.

At the end of this song, the vocalist screams about the bumblebee stinging him, sounding positively childish with fright. "Bumblebee stung meeeeee!" Someone please get this man a band-aid.

This song is © 1990 by Ween, Twin/Tone records.

Next song on this album: Don't Laugh (I Love You)

Scientists, it seems, have proven that bumblebees cannot fly.

The meme circulates every so often to demonstrate various things. It can be a paean to the power of believing in yourself like the scientist-defying bee. It can be used to point out the ostensible Popean dangers of too much knowledge, or it can be testimony to the ivory-towerness of science. It can even be spread in aid of religious fundamentalism, like the missing day story: God knows bees can fly, but godless scientists don't.

The truth of the matter is a little complicated, as truths so often are.

Here's the deal, according to a post made to the newsgroup sci.aeronautics on October 9, 1996: scientists never discovered that bees can't fly. They have found that applying certain aerodynamic models to bees produces that result. Then they decide that, well, those models don't work for bees -- in other words, bees don't fly like that, they fly some other way.

Scientists, as a rule, aren't stupid. They know that bumblebees fly. They also, mirabile dictu, know that science can't explain everything. That is why they are scientists -- to increase the number of things science can explain.

However, flying bees is in that latter category already: Observation of bumblebees in flight shows the application of unsteady lift processes.

Bum"ble*bee` (?), n. [OE. bumblen to make a humming noise (dim. of bum, v.i.) + bee. Cf. Humblebee.] Zool.

A large bee of the genus Bombus, sometimes called humblebee; -- so named from its sound.

⇒ There are many species. All gather honey, and store it in the empty cocoons after the young have come out.


© Webster 1913.

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