Bumblebee Gathering: Mating, Getting warm?
July 15, 2010
Continuing my backlog of photos, here is some pictures of a group of four, possibly five bumblebees. I am not exactly sure what they were doing when I took the photo. I have a video of it as well. My personal theory is that they were grouping together to stay warm, but it’s possible I witnessed a rare bumblebee orgy!
Any information you can provide will be most helpful!
Joseph Grabko
Harrisburg, PA, USA

Bumble Bee Mating Frenzy

Hi Joseph,
Thanks for sending us your photos of a Bumble Bee mating aggregation.  Two years ago, we posted a similar photo and here is what Eric Eaton had to say at the time.  “
Daniel:  The bumble bee mating behavior is typical of many ground-nesting bees.  Virgin queens are a hot commodity, so males flock to them and compete for an opportunity to mate.  Eric Eaton

Thank you for the quick response! We have a LOT of bumblebees in the summer, mainly because of our large Lavender plant in our front yard. However, this was the first and only time I had seen this behavior! I’m glad I was able to run inside fast enough to get my camera. I had to leave shortly after taking the photos and short video, and when I returned, there was no sign of them. The location they chose was odd… the sand you see is where we normally have an above-ground pool, so instead of a grassy area, they chose the one place with the least amount of cover to mate. Thank you once again for the prompt response!

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