Golden Northern Bumble Bee Makes Hope Meadow Home
On July 27th a Golden Northern Bumble Bee, Bombus fervidus was found in Hope Meadow. This bumblebee is considered vulnerable globally on the IUCN Red List. This means that if the population continues to decrease at the same rate this bumblebee will be extinct in the next 70-80 years. The most apparent threat to this bee is development and loss of grasslands. Hope Meadow is providing habitat with grasses and pollinator plants thus helping the population. This native bee usually has a nest within 50 meters of its food source and it can be in the ground or above ground. This means seeing this bee pollinating in Hope Meadow it is likely the nest is located within Hope Meadow. The nest is made of soft, lightly entangled grass mixed with goose or other feces. (I know gross right!) The nest has a queen who makes the honey to feed the larvae. The nest is small compared to honey bees. A single nest usually contains only 4 eggs, fifteen larvae, forty-two pupae, and seventeen adults. The queen is the only bee from the colony to hibernate underground during the winter. In the spring she will emerge and feed on pollen and nectar. Hope Meadow has a wide variety of flowers that bloom from early spring to late fall providing the crucial nectar in early spring for the queen to start the nest. She then will make the nest and start depositing honey into a wax honey pot that she made. Then laying the first eggs to start the colony. The queen will live for about 12 months. A single Northern Bumble Bee can visit 44 flowers per minute making them great pollinators. They have been observed to pollinate at such a rapid rate they exhaust themselves and parish.