There are many species of bumblebee, all are of the genus Bombidae aka Bombus. They are not as social of insects as the honey bee.

The life cycle of the bumblebee starts out in the spring when the over wintering female sets out to find a place for a nest. She gathers food and creates a small number of cells in which to lay eggs. The first females that hatch out are sterile, even as the workers in the colonies of hive bees. They act very much like them as well until fall, when they start producing queens and drones. Many of the drones fly off in search of different hives. The queens mate with the drones and then the new queens find a place to over winter and start the cycle anew in the spring.

In tropical areas the nest will not die for years and acts very much like a hive bee colony. Even producing swarms from time to time. Some of the worker bumble bees develop the ability to lay eggs, but they can only lay drone eggs since they have not been fertilized.

For a long time it was thought that the wing surface of the Bumblebee was insufficient to provide enough lift. So it was said it was a mystery that how they could fly. It turns out that the physics of flight works somewhat differently at the scale of insects. Part of the lift comes not just from airfoil lift, like the wings of birds or airplanes use, but also create mini vortexes that add to the lift generated.

The Flight of the Bumblebee, mystery no more.