Return to the Adaptations Index

Adaptations of the Bumblebee
Bombus ruderatus

Adaptations of the Bumblebee
/graphics/insects/bumblebee_header.jpg

Adaptation (Structure and Function)  

Adaptation in a population of living things happens as a result of an adaptive trait. This is any inheritable trait that increases itís survival rate so that it can live longer, reproduce longer, and have more offspring (that also have that trait). Adaptive traits can improve an animal's ability to find food, make a safer home, escape predators, survive cold or heat or lack of water.

The bumblebee's legs are covered with sticky hairs that help it collect pollen. Workers and queens actually have hollow holders on the outside of each back leg, called pollen baskets. They are shiny when empty and yellow to red when full. They also have long tongues with which they can reach into tubular flowers to collect nectar. These adaptive traits are physical adaptations.

Bumblebees have an interesting behavior adaptation. When they want to communicate with other bees about a food source they dance. Scientists have discovered special movements bees do to communicate different kinds of messages to other bees of their hive.

For more information about this animal:  

click here

Activity  

For Discussion and Critical Thinking:

The bumblebee has adaptive traits that help it find food, reproduce and communicate with its hive.

1. Why do you think bumblebees communicate by dancing instead of making a sound like a coyote howling?

2. Can you think of other animals that collect nectar from flowers. Name two and how their physical traits help them with this task.
 
3. Name two other insects with different diets and the mouthparts they have to feed.
  
4. Do you have any physical traits that help you survive? Discuss one.


Adaptations of the Bumblebee

High Resolution PDF for Printing  

click here

Recommended Books & Products  

Wild Science Workbook
Activities that Bridge Outdoor Exploration with Classroom Science
The activities in Wild Science will integrate outdoor exploration with the understanding and appreciation of science and environmental issues. Using Wild Science as a guide, we invite you to rediscover your sense of wonder about the natural world and share it with the children you know.


Adaptations of the Bumblebee

LINK to Product  

click here

Citing This Reference

CITING RESEARCH REFERENCES
When you research information you must cite the reference. Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association).

When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access <URL>.

All text on Exploring Nature was written by author, Sheri Amsel

Here is an example of citing this page:
Amsel, Sheri. “Adaptations.” Adaptations of the Bumblebee. Exploring Nature Educational Resource. © 2005 - 2014. July 31, 2014. <http://exploringnature.org/db/detail.php?dbID=5&detID=21>

Related Links
Subscribe to Exploring Nature Today!