At the beginning of a new colony, when the lone queen bumble bee comes out of hibernation, she is responsible for the food gathering for the new colony. However, when the first young do emerge they take over the food gathering for the queen. Pollen is the main food source for bumble bees. Bumble bees produce only small amounts of honey in the spring, depending on flower pollen and nectar for sustenance as adults. Young bumble bees feed on bee bread, a pure mixture of pollen with nectar to hold it together. Bumble bees collect a considerable quantity of pollen and nectar and a small quantity of honey.
    For the storage of food, bumble bees construct long waxy cells by adding wax to empty cocoons. These cylinders are usually found near the center of the comb and can reach a height of 3 inches. Bumble bees only store a few days' worth of food, which makes them much more vulnerable to food shortages. Bumble bees have an open circulatory system. Nutrients is transported via hemolymph or blood.

Did you know that the Trillium is one of the flowers that the rusty-patched bumble bee uses for a pollen source? Learn about the Trillium Flower Here!

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