Skeptical At Work: Kimbo Edition

Mojo is away for work and one of his coworkers made a comment about bumblebees that he found suspicious. Not having the internets available to him, I looked up the information and offered to do this post this in his stead.

The Claim: Bumblebees bite (as opposed to sting).

My immediate response to this was “I don’t even have to look this up to know that’s wrong, but I will look it up anyway.” So I did and here’s what I found.

Bumblebees do not bite. They have stingers. On their asses. Well, more specifically, the girl bees have stingers because they don’t have little bug “penises”. So only the queens and female worker bees can sting. The males have a genital capsule instead of a stinger.

One thing I did learn that I didn’t know though was that bumblebees can sting more than once. I always thought all bees couldn’t sting more than once, but it turns out that bumblebees do not have barbs on their stingers so they don’t get ripped off like, say, a honey bee stinger. The smooth stinger of the bumblebee allows them to sting you to their liking.

Looking things up is neat. I learned something about bees and when Mojo informs his coworker about the “bites” research, so will he. The system works.

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5 responses to “Skeptical At Work: Kimbo Edition

  1. /shudder

    I had a kitchen full of honeybees a few years back… they invaded, i ran away like a little girl and called someone else to come kill them.

    Oh, but yay for looking things up and spreading education!

  2. /shudder

    I had a kitchen full of honeybees a few years back… they invaded, i ran away like a little girl and called someone else to come kill them.

    Oh, but yay for looking things up and spreading education!

  3. Kimbo Jones

    I have been stung by pretty much all of our tiny yellow and black friends. When I was a kid I used to walk around barefoot in the yard and I’d step on bees and get stung accidentally. Our family used to go camping a lot too.

    One time my sister got stung by a wasp on her butt. It was hilarious. Not for her.

    Another time a bee landed on the inside of my mom’s shorts while she was in the passenger seat and she almost made my dad go off the road when she flipped out.

    We’ve had some good times with bees. :)

  4. Kimbo Jones

    Andre: A similar thing happened to me. I was running around in the back yard with some friends and a bee or wasp (happened to fast) hit me in the face right where my glasses sit on my nose. That was a fantastic sting. Good thing I’m not allergic.

  5. Kimbo Jones

    Somehow this comment got removed in the transfer to wordpress:

    Andre Vienne 2009/05/05 at 9:11pm

    I’ve actually never been stung by a bumblebee. Or a honey bee. Good to hear that they’re just as evil as wasps, though.

    Wasps have always wanted to murder me, though. With them, it’s personal, as one stung me on the neck when I was little. I was in the middle of a giant group of kids, and it comes out of nowhere and BAM.

    Wasn’t even moving. I know that it couldn’t have been premeditated on any scale, but it still makes me wary anywhere that’s rumored to have wasps.