Friends, I am not often wrong, but when I am, I do not try to run from my mistakes. I square up to them and make what is wrong right. This week, I believed I had discovered a video showing a bumblebee giving live birth. I showed it to you in good faith.
I was wrong.
That bumblebee was not birthing another, smaller bumblebee. That bumblebee was having sex with presumably another adult bumblebee. I will not compound my error by pretending mistakes were not made. I failed to perform due diligence, and we are all the poorer for it.
Here is how bumblebees actually propagate further bumblebees:
When she has chosen her nest, the queen will begin to collect pollen from flowers, to bring back to the nest. She forms a mound of pollen and wax (which she secretes from her body) and lays her first brood of eggs. She also collects nectar which she stores in a pot-shaped structure made of wax which is positioned in front of her mound. The queen keeps the eggs warm by sitting on her wax ‘nest’ and shivering her muscles to keep warm. Sipping from the nectar-pot gives her enough energy to incubate the eggs for several days until little white grub-like larvae emerge. These larvae are fed on pollen and nectar which the queen goes back-and-forth to collect from nearby flowers. Once they have eaten enough, after around two weeks, they spin a cocoon, inside which they develop into adult bees.
Just because a video is labeled “Bumble bee giving birth” does not mean it is, in fact, a video depicting a bumblebee giving birth. Caveat emptor, bee-video-wise, my friends. Cav-bee-at emptor.
I am truly sorry.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.