The eggs of a queen bumblebee are undeveloped when the queen emerges in the spring from winter hibernation. After emergence, the eggs develop while the queen is feeding on available sources of nectar and pollen. It is generally assumed that physiological changes associated with egg development stimulate a queen to search for a nesting place and start a colony. However, there is little information available on the relationship between egg development and the colony-founding behavior of the bumblebee.
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