Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee
Acrylic on 2 inch wood panel
Sharon chose this species as inspiration because she loves bumblebees and it makes her sad to see another beautiful creature becoming extinct.
The Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee is a large bee with a distinctive white-tipped abdomen. This bee can be found in diverse habitats including open meadows, mixed farmlands, urban areas, boreal forest and montane meadows. This species feeds on pollen and nectar from a variety of plants. The Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee is a social parasite and does not produce worker bees. Mated females emerge in spring, find a host next (the host nest is that of a different species of bee), kill or subdue the queen of the host nest and lay eggs that the host colony workers tend.
The biggest threat to the Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee is the decline of two main host species; the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee and Western Bumble Bee. Other threats include pesticides and habitat loss.