Vegetables with self-fertile flowers including beans, peas, peppers and tomatoes benefit from sonication, or buzz pollination, by bumble bees. Instead of entering the blossom, bumblebees vibrate it to shake out a pollen reward.
Food and Habitat:
Bumblebees need large amounts of pollen and nectar, and species vary in the length of their tongues, which affects their ability to feed from various flowers. However, habitat loss is of greater importance, and has led to huge declines in bumblebee populations in recent years. Bumblebees live in small colonies in nests that are often constructed in deserted mouse holes, hollow logs and even compost heaps. Most bumble bees nest at or below ground level, but a few species such as the tree bumblebee, will nest in bird boxes and in holes in upright trees.
Grow flowers to provide a long season of bloom, from spring through to autumn. Avoid growing double-flowered varieties of ornamental plants as these limit the bees' ability to collect pollen and nectar. Log piles and compost heaps provide ideal locations for bumble bees to build nests.