Bumblebee Ball Pythons: Everything You Need to Know


Bumblebee Ball Pythons: Everything You Need to Know

At first, the bumblebee ball python was referred to as the pastel spider. Such christening arose from the fact that this morph emerged from the union of spider and pastel genes. Over time, the “bumblebee” name was consolidated in the mainstream due to signature yellow and black stripes of this snake. 

The bumblebee ball python is a gorgeous double homozygous ball python. This snake emerges from the interbreeding of the pastel ball and the spider ball. This designer morph combines the yellow pattern from its pastel gene with the high-white, webbed pattern from its parent spider into charming high-contrast yellow and black bands. The bumble ball python has a placid temperament and is remarkably friendly with high adaptive capacities.

The bumblebee ball python is becoming more popular by the day, as more people crave it for pet use. There is so much to know about this designer. Is the bumblebee python dangerous, or is it a good pet? How do you breed this morph, how does it shed? Lastly, which other cool bumblebee ball python morphs would be worth knowing?

Are Bumblebee Ball Pythons Dangerous?

Bumblebee ball pythons are not inherently aggressive. In sharp contrast to their relatively intimidating appearance, they are friendly and reserved snakes. They thrive best when you supply their enclosure with several hide boxes.

The bumblebee, just as is typical of ball pythons, would curl up into the shape of a ball when it feels threatened. Unless it feels such an acute threat, the bumblebee is very unlikely to lunge into an attack. Of course, any attack from the bumblebee is likely a defensive counter-attack.

The bumblebee is not venomous and falls under the class of constrictors. This means they are would rarely bite you.

How Much Do Bumblebee Ball Pythons Cost?

Being coveted morphs, the cost of the bumblebee is steadily pushing up. The price hike is not disconnected from the fact that bumblebees are rarer. Indeed, if you are going for the typical bumblebee that combines the traits (and genes) of the spider and the pastel ball, you should be aiming for a starting price of $130. This can go even shoot as far as $200.

Take note that exclusive morphs like a bumblebee with a recessive gene (like an albino) would cost you more. You should be budgeting within the range of $200-$250 for such a category of bumblebees.

Moving on, there is this specially adored category of designer bumblebees that cost far more. This is the eclectic category of bumblebees that combines more codominant traits (sometimes more than 3). 

By standard, each additional trait may push up the price of that bumblebee by at least $100. Given this, you could see a bumblebee combining more than 6 extra traits costing in excess of $10,000. 

Bumblebee Ball Python Characteristics

The bumblebee is famed for its signature yellow and black bands. Characteristically, this morph is calm and unaggressive, making it very easy to handle.

The bumblebee stands out from the conventional ball python for its head wobble. This head wobble is a unique neurological impairment that can be traced to the spider gene.

The bumblebee would curl into a tight ball in a defensive position when it is frightened. Out in the wild, semi-arboreal behaviors are prevalent (inhabiting trees) in the male bumblebee. The female bumblebee tends to be more terrestrial.

Are Bumblebee Ball Pythons Good Pets?

Yes, bumblebee ball pythons are incredible pets to have given their tranquil temperament. The bumblebee is one morph not prone to violence. They are also quite welcoming.

The chances are so meager that a bumblebee would attack you or bite you. In extreme conditions, when your bumblebee is provoked (which is typical of virtually of animals), it would only lash at the intruder with a closed mouth. Interestingly, the bumblebee is not poisonous, being a constrictor snake. Typically, a bumblebee has no fang.

Bumblebee Ball Python Cool Facts

There is some cool stuff that would excite you about bumblebees. How about we explore some of these facts?

Bumblebees “fast” too

If you have a bumblebee ball python, you will notice periodic abstinence from food on the part of your bumblebee. Sometimes, you would see your bumblebee not eating in almost 4 weeks. This is known as a brumation period.

This is a natural cycle (dominant in winter) where your bumblebee strives to preserve heat. In this brumation period, you see a significant reduction in the activity level of your bumblebee.

Being that they are burning far less energy from such a relatively inactive state, your bumblebee wouldn’t eat much either. However, for your pet bumblebee, its brumation period is not going to be as long as that of its counterpart in the wild. It could only abstain from food for about 2 weeks.

Eggs of bumblebee have leathery shells

While it is common for reptiles to lay eggs with calcified eggshells, the bumblebee lays have their eggs furnished with leathery shells. This way, it is difficult for individual eggs to roll-off, being that these eggs tend to stick together in a bunch.

Bumblebee Ball Python Genetics

The bumblebee ball python arises when you breed a copy of a pastel with that of a spider gene. The breeding is selective. The emanating bumblebee can retain both genes from the pastel and spider or have just one gene from one of the two parents.

Commonly, we see the spider and the pastel genes codominant, as one is unlikely to override the other. This means there would be a simultaneous expression of both pastel and spider traits. Thus you see why bumblebees appear to be enhanced versions of each individual parent – in that they display both traits.  

The resultant bumblebee is a morph where the pastel gene dilutes the color depth of the bumblebee from the regular brown striped color to a bright yellow and black band.

The pastel ranks as one of the oldest morphs among ball pythons. When a ball python has just the pastel gene, it has no distinctive look from the normals. Remarkably, there are also cases of “super pastels,” where the ball python retains two distinct copies of the pastel gene.

The slight differentiating factor (between the pastel and the normal ball python) here is that pastels tend to be lighter with such light pigmentation extending to their eyes, lips, and heads. When this is now joined with the spider gene, the beautiful yellow emerges.

How Rare are Bumblebee Ball Pythons?

There is an increasing reduction in the global population of ball python snakes. This, in part, can be attributed to the deterioration in their natural habitat in Africa and the rarity of wild ball pythons in the United States. So you see, bumblebees are getting rarer.

More than this, given their exotic nature, and the relatively high economic value of their skin and pet trading, the bumblebee python is increasingly hunted. Bumblebees are even coveted meals for those a significant number of people who find them incredibly delicious – hence these morphs are earnestly hunted for food.

Given all these circumstances, the bumblebee (and even ball pythons in general) are edging closer to a threatened species. The only reprieve is that breeders are beginning to pick up more interest in the selective breeding of bumblebees.

Breeding Bumblebee Ball Pythons

The most assured way of achieving a bumblebee morph is to breeding a pastel ball to a spider ball. There is a strong chance that you could involuntarily suppress the unique features of the bumblebee if you bring in other traits to the union.

When a spider ball is bred to a pastel ball, each ball brings a genetic contribution to the table, which would be passed on to the resulting morph. Considering this, 4 permutations (in terms of 4 morphs) can arise from breeding the pastel to the spider ball.

The first is the bumblebee ball python morph we have talked about. The remaining 3 morphs include the spider, pastel, and normal.

If we go deeper into the math, we have the possibility of a morph with a ¼ probability of being a spider (with no pastel gene), ¼ probability of being a normal (with neither pastel or spider gene) and ¼ probability of being a bumblebee (combining the pastel and spider gene).

Effectively, there is a 25% chance that every egg bred from the union of a pastel and spider ball would result in a bumblebee. Averagely, you can get anywhere from 4-7 eggs from a ball python clutch. This means that in each clutch size, you could get 1-2 bumblebee ball python.

Bumblebee Ball Python Shedding

Just like you would see from other ball pythons, the bumblebee sheds too. In perfect conditions, you can expect your bumblebee to shed in an interval of every 4-6 weeks. When your bumblebee is about to shed, you will notice its eyes turning blue and relatively opaque. Then the scales start loosening.

Most Popular Bumblebee Ball Python Morphs

Other than the unique bumblebee morph, you can also get other morphs by combining the traits of the bumblebee (via breeding) with other snakes having designated traits that you desire.

Therefore you can achieve the:

  • The bumblebee clown, which has pretty long dark bands running across its spine with less prominent patterns.
  • The Albino bumblebee whose spider patterns are white opposed to the conventional black of the bumblebee, with a relatively more lightened yellow background. 
  • The Axantic bumblebee which lacks the customary yellow pigmentation of the bumblebee with dark bands adorning a whiter background.
  • The pied bumblebee where the pied gene instigates the formation of prominent white patches distributed in an alternating pattern across the body of the snake.

In reality, there is an overwhelming amount of designer morphs you can achieve if you breed more variants of the spider and pastel genes. Simply, when you bring more traits into one union, the more peculiar the resultant morph would be.

As said, we have seen cases where breeders extensively combine traits to achieve designer bumblebee having as many as 6 distinct codominant traits.

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