Bumblebees do things differently: unlike honeybees, they do not have a permanent colony. In autumn, a bumblebee colony dies out and only the young, mated queens hibernate each separately in the soil. In spring, a queen starts a new colony. She lays a first batch of eggs, from which larvae emerge after 4 to 5 days.
In the beginning, the queen has to do all the foraging by herself. The larvae are fed with a mixture of nectar and pollen gathered from flowers. When the first adult workers have appeared, the queen no longer leaves the nest. The workers begin to forage and to take care of the brood.
After the production of 150 to 400 workers, young queens and drones (males) are born. From this time on, the activity of the colony decreases; the old queen stops laying eggs and eventually dies. With a young, mated queen, a new cycle can start.