Bumblebees were referred to as humblebees until the mid-20th century. The title was simply an indication of the sound they made, having nothing to do with their diffidence or social outlook. The individual or group responsible for changing the name remains a mystery.
Charles Darwin referenced the little humblebee in his writings, as did many of his contemporaries. Once humans figured out how to build flying machines, one theory goes, a puffy body with tiny wings made less sense than ever. The humblebees were seen “bumbling” from one flower to the next, and the name was forever altered.
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