Do Honey Bees And Bumblebees Get Along?

do honey bees and bumblebees get along

Honeybees and Bumblebees are two commonly found bee types internationally. There are several species of both bee types, and they are commonly found in similar environments and habitats. If you want to keep honeybees and already have a population of bumblebees in the area, you may be wondering if these two types of bees can coexist peacefully in the same area without causing harm to one another?

Honeybees and bumblebees will not cause direct harm to one another. Honey Bees reproduce rapidly, and their large colonies expand your-round, while bumblebees mostly die off in winter. This means that honeybees may consume all resources in an area, leaving nothing for the few numbers of bumblebees. 

Honeybees can be domesticated, and they are very useful for their production of honey and their pollination abilities. Beekeepers cultivate honey bees for these reasons, but will introducing honeybees into an area that already has bumblebees cause harm to either species? Let’s explore the possibilities here. 

Can Honeybees And Bumblebees Inhabit The Same Area?

Honeybees and bumblebees are both members of the same family of bees, but they are both of a different genus. This means that these types of bees share some similarities, but they are very different as well. 

When introducing honeybees to an area that already has a local population of bumblebees, there may be concern that these bees may not coexist well. Is it possible to cultivate a colony of honeybees in an area populated by bumblebees?

The truth is that bumblebees and honeybees can coexist so long as there is enough food for both species to thrive. Bumblebees and honeybees both feed on honey and pollen in different ways and therefore require the same food sources to live and build a colony. 

This means that so long as there is enough food to go around, honeybees and bumblebees can live in the same area and get along with each other fine. 

The only trouble is that honeybees build colonies that are significantly larger and have many more individuals than those of bumblebees. Honeybee colonies can amass many thousands of individual bees, while bumblebee colonies only support a few hundred bumblebees at a time. 

This means that honeybees may very quickly overpower bumblebees and quickly dominate the supply of food in the area, not leaving enough to sustain the bumblebee population. 

Honeybees can also grow in number throughout the year, and they can reproduce very quickly. Honeybees store food over the winter in the form of honey that sustains them while there is no pollen or nectar available. 

Bumblebees, however, do not make honey, and they only store enough nectar to feed larvae. These bees do not store food during the winter, and therefore the only bumblebee from a colony that survives the winter is the queen, who hibernates underground.

As honeybees can continue to reproduce throughout the year, the honeybee population in one area may become very large very quickly, while the bumblebee population decreases significantly over the winter and must then be slowly reproduced by a single queen. 

The one advantage that bumblebees have over honeybees is that there are many more sub-species of bumblebees than honeybees, and each has adapted unique feeding methods. This means that bumblebees can feed on more types of flowers than honeybees, and some flowers have evolved to only allow bumblebees to feed on them, as bumblebees are better pollinators than honeybees. 

This means that if there are enough flowers in an area that only bumblebees can feed on, it is very likely that honeybees and bumblebees can successfully coexist, regardless of how big the honeybee population becomes.  

Do honey bees and bumblebees fight?

Honeybees and bumblebees can coexist so long as there is enough food to sustain all of the bees. However, there is another concern regarding these bees, as honeybees are known to be very protective over their hives and can be aggressive towards other insects. 

Bumblebees are by nature more docile and less aggressive than honeybees, which may give rise to the concern that honeybees may harm bumblebees while attempting to protect their hives from other insects. Will honeybees cause harm to bumblebees?

The truth is that honeybees are very unlikely to cause any direct or physical harm to bumblebees. Honeybees will not attack other insects unprovoked, and they are highly unlikely to attack other species of bees that pose no threat to them at all. 

Honeybees are not naturally aggressive and are very unlikely to harm bumblebees directly. However, as we have already stated, honeybees may overwhelm bumblebees and use up the resources of an area which may cause the bumblebee population of an area to either die or move away. 

Will Bumblebees Harm Honeybees?

Anyone who is bringing honeybees into an area for cultivation may be concerned that the local bumblebee population may cause harm to the honeybees in some way. Is this a legitimate concern, or will bumblebees not cause harm to honeybees at all?

Bumblebees are naturally docile and not aggressive. These bees are not known to attack any other species, and they are far less aggressive than any other species of bee. 

These large, slower bees cannot even sting as well as honeybees, and their sting packs less potency as well. This means that bumblebees are not likely to cause any physical harm to honeybees in any way, and these bees are not likely to cause a threat to honeybees at all. 

It is safe for honeybees to bring them into an area that has a population of bumblebees. The honeybees, in fact, are more likely to cause harm to the bumblebees.

Conclusion

At the end of it, honeybees and bumblebees do get along, and they will not directly harm one another, but honeybees are likely to overpower the bumblebee population and cause them to leave or die off simply because honeybees multiple so quickly and have a greater demand for food. 

If the food sources in the area are better suited for bumblebees, then both species of bee can coexist well, without competing with each other and without damaging one another populations. 

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