By Barbara Walvoord
Originally published in the Lathrop Lamp Post Feb. 3-9, 2018
We know that our Lathrop bears are hibernating in their cozy dens. But also, in the ground, tiny dens hold hibernating bumblebee queens (Bombus sp.), who, along with hundreds of other native bee species, help pollinate our crops and our flowers.
These hibernating bumblebee queens were born last summer. The old queen who produced the new queens is dead now, as are all her other children: the early-born female worker bees who helped her all summer, as well as all her male children, who didn’t help at all, but flew off in pursuit of one of those new queens. After mating, the males all died. Only the new queen survived, carrying her eggs in her body, slumbering in her underground den, using up the body fat she gained last summer from gorging on nectar. Continue reading Winter Dens at Lathrop