Do Bumblebees make honey?

mulchwoman(metuchen,nj)April 18, 2005

Please forgive my ignorance--I as a gardener would like to know if bumblebees make honey? If so, why isn't it used or talked about. Any information would be most helpful.

Thanks

Pat

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SteveInNC(Zone 6-1/2)

Yes, though no more than a thimbleful at a time. For a special cell.

For more info, click below -

Here is a link that might be useful: Bumblebee facts

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 8:39AM
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Aegis(z9 CA)

I was cleaning out a bird house last fall that bumblebees had nested in and found some bumblebee honey. It was surprisingly thick, and tasted like ... honey. The BBs had moved out (died?) some time before, so the honey may have been dessicated over time, and not been the same as the fresher stuff.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 7:10PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

All the bumblebees die in the late fall except the young queen who has mated.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 6:58PM
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Beeker(5b-6a)

I know this is off topic, but after reading a bit on that link about bumblebees, I though I should let you know. I don't know how many people have been stung by a bumblebee, and I'm sure the experience will be somewhat different for everybody. I have been stung by one. It was stuck in my house and I guess it was so stressed that it was on the floor, probably dying, and jumped onto my bare foot and stung me on top of my little toe. Maybe it was the area, maybe I'm just a big baby, but this was my experience: At first, it just felt like a prick, nothing serious, no big deal. Then it started to hurt more.... and more... and still more. Finally, I was in such pain, that I ended up sitting on the floor holding my foot crying. I couldn't understand how it got so bad. I'm not allergic, the stinger wasn't in my toe, and the poor insect was dead. The pain was amazing. To this day, I am still surprised at the way it all happened.

Sorry to be off topic, but I just thought I'd share that.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 10:44PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

There is a nice Bumble Bee video on this thread....
Konrad

Here is a link that might be useful: Bumble Bee

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 12:46AM
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Ironcladdoors_yahoo_com

Bumblebees do in fact make honey, it is alot harder to harvest than that of honey bees. Bumblebees usually nest in the ground and only have an average of a few hundred to a thousand bees in a colony. Therefore they don't produce as much as honey bees do. Also honey bees normally have anywhere from 6 to 20 thousand bees per colony and aren't as aggresive and are easier to harvest from than bumblebees. Less work, more product. That's why you don't hear of using bumblebee honey. I have tasted bumblebee honey, it's similar in taste and texture but has a greenish golden tint in color instead of the gold color of honey. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:14PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Just a reminder...
If yo harvest honey from a bumble nest,... you are destroying a colony. Also, bumbles don't store surplus honey as honey bees do, it's there for brood only.
A honeybee colony runs from around 20000 to 60000 bees.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 5:24PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

>>Also honey bees normally have anywhere from 6 to 20 thousand bees per colony and aren't as aggresive and are easier to harvest from than bumblebees. I find this false,
Have played as a kid with nests all the time in the ground for many years, we used to observe them...taken out nest gentle and checked on the brood...most often 50 or 100 bees, [never a thousand] but never ever we were attackt by bumbles, take a honey bee nest apart and and see what happens.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 5:42PM
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Ironcladdoors_yahoo_com

I do take honey bee nest appart, and I didn't say that they wouldn't sting or attack, but they are normally easy to work with if you are gentle in your actions, if you go banging around and piss them off sure they will sting the mess out of you, I guess it's with anything, you have to know what you are doing.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:34PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Yes...I do take honey from my hives, most often with shorts but not nearly as gentle as bumble bees.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:23PM
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tonybeeguy

One thing I noticed is that I hardly ever see honey bees on rhododendren but the bumblebees love it, and the honey made from it is poisonous to humans

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 7:24PM
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charlieboring

Bumble bees ussualy nest in the ground and store their honey in wax balls. Tasted very good, although there was not much of it. In my experience there are only a hundred or less bumble bees in a hive.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 7:07AM
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kevingolike

my father grew just out of st luis on a farm,he said they use to get honey from bumble bees,they would(7 brothers and 2 sisters) gather around the nest place a jug half full of water,and everyone had ping pong paddles,some one would stick a pitch fork down into the ground and pop the nest up and everyone would smack the bees until they where gone,alot would drop right into the jug,something about the sound when they flew over it attracted them. he said it was very good not alot but in thumb size cups.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 12:41AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

That wasn't clever, destroying nest.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:26AM
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charlieboring

Bumblebees are harder to anger than honey bees, depending upon the species of honey bee. Some are aggressive and others not so much. One difference that I have found is the way that they sting. The honey bee or some wasps need to set itself in order to insert the stinger, while the bumblebee can fly directly into you and insert its stinger on impact. I have found that bumblebees typicly do not bother you unless they feel threatened or annoyed. Certain species of honey bee, such as the black spanish bee, will sting you for no real reason, except your proximity to them. I have recently started using mason bee blocks to attract mason bees to pollinate my fruit. Honey bees were not active enough in the early spring.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:58PM
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