Bumble bee queens and males are produced late in the season, when the colonies are large. Mating occurs in the nest or close to it. When a male bumblebee mates a queen he will knock her to the ground, climb on her thorax and mates the queen. During mating the queen protrudes her stinger and the male falls back while remaining attached. The two bumble bees can remained attached for several minutes to over an hour. The fertilized eggs will become females while the eggs that are unfertilized are male. This leads to females being diploids and males being haploids. Polygamy is most common, but at times multiple mating has been recorded. Only the queen lives through winter, the rest of the colony lives 14-25 weeks.

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