ETYM Old Eng. bumblen to make a humming noise (dim. of bum, v. i.) + bee. Related to Humblebee.
Robust hairy social bee of temperate regions; SYN. humblebee.
Any large bee, 2–5 cm/1–2 in, usually dark-colored but banded with yellow, orange, or white, belonging to the genus Bombus.
Most species live in small colonies, usually underground, often in an old mousehole. The queen lays her eggs in a hollow nest of moss or grass at the beginning of the season. The larvae are fed on pollen and honey, and develop into workers. All the bees die at the end of the season except fertilized females, which hibernate and produce fresh colonies in the spring. Bumblebees are found naturally all over the world, with the exception of Australia, where they have been introduced to facilitate the pollination of some cultivated varieties of clover. bumble-bee, bumble bee.