Founder: Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov

Editorial office address: Russian Federation, 163002, Arkhangelsk, Naberezhnaya Severnoy Dviny 17, office 1410a

Phone: (818-2) 21-61-00(15-33)



A possible bivoltine development of several bumblebee species in Europe. P. 45–51

Версия для печати

Section: Biology






GS Potapov1, YuS Kolosova1, IN Bolotov1,2
1 Federal Centre for Integrated Arctic Research, Russian Academy of Sciences (Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation)
2 Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov (Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation)


This article is devoted to an analysis of possible bivoltine development of several bumblebee species in Europe. This study is based on materials collected by the authors in European countries (Slovakia, France and Greece) and in the European North of Russia (Solovetsky Archipelago). Four bumblebee species were studied. They are Bombus hortorum, B. terrestris, B. pratorum and B. jonellus. Bombus hortorum was collected from south-eastern Slovakia and southern France, B. terrestris was additionally from the Isle of Crete, B. pratorum was from southern France and the Solovetsky Archipelago, and B. jonellus was collected only on the Solovetsky Archipelago. Our records reveal that several bumblebee species may have two generations per season. Bombus hortorum and B. pratorum in south-eastern Slovakia and southern France had males present in late May. Both these species have a short life cycle, so they are potentially able to produce two generations in a season. Bombus terrestis was found in January on southern France and in Late November in the Isle of Crete. Because this species has no obligate diapause, this fact may indicate bivoltine development for B. terrestris in the studied territories. The potential ability of B. jonellus to produce two generations per season was revealed during long-term research on the Solovetsky Archipelago.


Bumblebees, two generations, Europe, climatic conditions
Download (pdf, 2.5MB )


  1. Alfken JD (1913) Die Bienenfauna von Bremen. Abhandlungen des Naturwissenschaftlichen Vereins zu Bremen 22: 1–220.
  2. Alford DV (1975) Bumblebees. Davis-Poynter, London, 325 pp.
  3. Bolotov IN, Kolosova YuS, Podbolotskaya MV, Potapov GS, Grishchenko IV (2013) Mechanism of density compensation in island bumblebee assemblages (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) and the notion of reserve compensatory species. Biology Bulletin 40(3): 318–328.
  4. Douglas JM (1973) Double generations of Bombus jonellus subborealis Rich. (Hym. Apidae) in an Artic summer. Entomologica Scandinavica 4: 283–284.
  5. Goulson D (2010) Bumblebees. Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 330 pp.
  6. Kerr JT, Pindar A, Galpern P, Packer L, Potts SG, Roberts SM, Rasmont P, Schweiger O, Colla SR, Richardson LL, Wagner DL, Gall LF, Sikes DS, Pantoja A (2015) Climate change impacts on bumblebees converge across continents. Science 349(6244): 177–180.
  7. Kolosova YuS, Podbolotskaya MV (2010) Populyatsionnaya dinamika shmeley (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombus Latr.) na Solovetskom arhipelage: itogi 10-letnego monitoringa [Population dynamics of bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombus Latr.) on Solovetskiy Archipelago: results of 10-year monitoring]. Proceedings of the Russian Entomological Society 81(2): 135–141.
  8. Løken A (1973) Studies of Scandinavian bumblebees (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Norsk Entomologisk Tidsskrift 20(1): 1–218.
  9. Meidell O (1968) Bombus jonellus (Kirby) (Hym., Apidae) has two generations in a season. Norsk Entomologisk Tidsskrift 14(1): 31–32.
  10. Prŷs-Jones OE, Corbet SA (1987) Bumblebees. Cambridge University Press, New York, 86 pp.
  11. Radchenko VG, Pesenko YuA (1994) Biologiya pchel (Hymenoptera, Apoidea) [Biology of bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea)]. Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Scieces, St Petersburg, 351 pp.
  12. Rasmont P (1985) Bombus terrestris (L.) (Hymenoptera, Apidae) dans le Massif de Maures (France, Var), une generation d’hiver? Bulletin et Annales de la Société Royale Belge d’entomologie 120: 359–363.
  13. Rasmont P, Coppee A, Michez D, De Meulemeester T (2008) An overview of the Bombus terrestris (L. 1758) subspecies (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (NS) 44(1): 243–250. 1.2008.10697559
  14. Rasmont P, Terzo M (2010) Catalogue et clé des sous-genres et espèces du genre Bombus de Belgique et du nord de la France (Hymenoptera, Apoidea). Université de Mons, Mons, 28 pp.
  15. Sakagami SF (1967) Specific differences in the bionomic characters of bumblebees. A comparative review. Journal of the Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University, Series 6 Zoology 20(3): 390–447.
  16. Stelzer RJ, Chittka L, Carlton M, Ings TC (2010) Winter active bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) achieve high foraging rates in Urban Britain. PLoS ONE 5(3): e9559.
  17. Shvartsman YuG, Bolotov IN (2007) Prostranstvenno-vremennaya neodnorodnost’ taezhnogo bioma v oblasti pleystotsenovykh materikovykh oledeneniy [Nature of the Solovetsky Archipelago during changing climate]. Ural Branch of RAS, Ekaterinburg, 302 pp.
  18. Williams PH (2017) Bombus Bumblebees of the World. London. [accessed 22.01.2018]