- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
It's a delight to see boy bumble bees sleeping overnight in the lavender.
Two species of bumble bees--Bombus vosnesenkii and Bombus californicus--have been slumbering in our lavender for the past several weeks. Sometimes they nestle a half inchs from one another and other times they're a foot or more apart.
Usually the honey bees began foraging in the lavender before they do.
The yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, and the black-faced bumble bee, Bombus californicus, are two of the bees featured in Bumble Bees of North America: an Identification Guide, published by the Princeton University Press and authored by Paul Williams, Robbin Thorp, Leif Richardson and Sheila Colla.
Thorp, a native pollinator specialist and distinguished professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis. says there are 20,000 species of bees worldwide, and of that number, only 250 belong to the genus Bombus or bumble bees.
Several species of bumble bees in our bee garden seem to prefer the English lavender. They forage, they mate, and they sleep.
The females sleep in their underground nests at night, while the males sleep on the lavender stems.
They are a joy to have around--underground and above ground!