NEBRASKAland Aug/Sept 2017

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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Page 24 of 67

AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2017 • NEBRASKAland 25 of her offspring by herself, and all of them mature into female workers. Those workers then take over all the foraging and childcare duties, including collecting food for the queen, who no longer needs to leave the nest. If the workers are able to find sufficient food, the colony can grow quickly. Queens produce females from fertilized eggs and males from unfertilized eggs. Workers don't mate, but can lay unfertilized eggs that turn into males. Some females are fed enough that they become potential future queens. A healthy colony can produce 20 or 30 queens by the end of the year, and up to 100 or more in some cases. Those queens mate with males and then seek out protected places in which to ride out the winter. All of the remaining members of the colony die at the end of the growing season, including the original queen. As relatively large and strong insects, bumblebees can fly nearly a mile from their nest to forage – much farther than most other bee species. They are fairly The American bumblebee (B. pennsylvanicus) is declining in many areas, including eastern Nebraska, but it is still fairly common in central and western Nebraska.

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