#111 Variable Cuckoo Bumblebee

Critically Endangered

These are interesting bees. They aren't able to raise their own young. They don't have pollen baskets so cannot carry enough to be able to have food for their babies. They also do not produce drones, so no workers to care for the larvae. Because of that, a bit like the Cuckoo bird, they have others raise their young. The thing is, unlike the bird, these work their way in and kill the queen of the hive they want and they take over, having that hive raise their young for them. It is unknown how the young convince the worker bees to feed them, but nobody has been studying them enough to figure it out. Unfortunately their host bee, the American Bumblebee, listed as Vulnerable, is losing habitat and starting to die, so the Variable Cuckoo Bumble is also going away. They have not been seen for at least 10 years and may be extinct. This is based off the only specimen I could find a picture of, a male stuck on a pin, looking a bit worse for wear.


I think fuzzy bumblebee butts are so funny. Bumbles are practically cuddly looking, and I really wish I wasn't allergic because I'd try to encourage hives to start up in our yard. I must say, talking about baby bees reminded me of a camp song from when I was little. I looked it up, but it would appear that most people learned very different lyrics than I did. So, here is the song as we used to sing it when we were young.


(hands cupped like you are holding a bumblebee)

I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee

Won't my Mommy be so proud of me

I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee

Ouch, it stung me!

(shake your hand like you just got stung on the finger)


I'm squishing up a baby bumble bee

Won't my Mommy be so proud of me

I'm squishing up a baby bumble bee

Eeeewww!


(licking your hand...or miming it, probably depends on your age and ick level)

I'm licking up a baby bumble bee

Won't my Mommy be so proud of me

I'm licking up a baby bumble bee

I don't feel so good


I'm throwing up a baby bumble bee

Won't my Mommy be so proud of me

I'm throwing up my baby bumble bee

Oh no, what a mess.


I'm sweeping up a baby bumble bee

Won't my Mommy be so proud of me

I'm sweeping up a baby bumble bee

Goodbye bumble bee

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All images © 2023 by Sara Jensen, do not copy.