Shiny Happy People Photography, Bavaria, June 2011, TCM super zoom
featured in It’s in the detail & The Group
Bumble bees are social insects that are characterised by black and yellow body hairs, often in bands. Some species have orange or red on their bodies, or may be entirely black.
Another obvious characteristic is the soft nature of the hair, called pile, that covers their entire body, making them appear and feel fuzzy. They are best distinguished from similarly large, fuzzy bees by the form of the female hind leg, which is modified to form a corbicula: a shiny concave surface that is bare, but surrounded by a fringe of hairs used to transport pollen (in similar bees, the hind leg is completely hairy, and pollen grains are wedged into the hairs for transport).
Like their relatives the honey bees, bumble bees feed on nectar and gather pollen to feed their young.