Bumblebee Habits

Bumblebees are definitely considered creatures of habit and are most commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere in higher altitude regions. However, there are a few tropical species of bumblebees known to exist in lower latitude parts of South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. There are also some species that live in extremely cold climates, where few other types of bees are found, the Bombus polaris and Bombus alpinus.

Bombus Polaris, a yellow and black bumblebee, is native to Ellesmere Island, the northernmost known location of all eusocial insects. This bumblebee can exists in near freezing temperatures by regulating body temperature through solar radiation, the process of moving internal muscles with little energy spent. The heterothermy is a radiative cooling system in the abdomen that helps control temperature similar to shivering. This internal cooling and heating system is known to exist in other bee species, but has best been studied in the bumblebee.