Most people think of bumble bees as social, living in a hive like the honey bee. This is true to some extent, but each year, the mated queens emerge from wintering, feed on early flowering plants, and then set to work finding an abandoned rodent den to nest in. She does all of this by herself, and it is not until she has produced enough workers from the eggs she has laid that she dedicates herself to egg laying…a true queen bee. Workers take over all other tasks.
Never again will the queen see the daylight. In the late summer, some of the eggs will develop into new queens which will mate with males, and then find a site to winter. The old queen, the workers, and all the males will die when the cold weather comes.