Southern B.C. is home to Bumble Bees and Honey Bees. Bees feed on nectar and pollen from flowers which are their sources of carbohydrates and protein. The majority of the honey bees are from commercial hives where the honey they produce is gathered and sold. There are still honey bee hives found in large trees and in other protected spaces. In both cases the hive structure is vertical wax honey combs, bees manufacture the wax used in the honey comb construction and use it for honey storage, for hatching eggs, and for the bee transitioning from larva to pupa.
Unlike wasps and bumble bees, honey bee colonies don’t die off every year. As the temperature drops their activity lessens until, at approximately 14 degrees Celsius, they form a tight cluster. The heat they generate from consuming honey prevents them from freezing, even in extreme cold conditions, providing the supply of honey is not used up.
Bumble bees will nest in ground in old mouse burrows, or above ground anywhere there is a cavity space. Like honey bees, bumble bees also produce vertical honey combs in their hives.
Like wasps, bumble bee hives die in the fall, except for the new queens who will leave the nest, mate, and then winter in a dormant state in an enclosed space. As the temperature warms in the spring the queens emerge from their dormant state and establish new hives. Also like wasps, bumble bees will not reuse old nests.