The Ultimate Guide to the Bumblebee Python (Must-Know Info)

The bumblebee ball python is a morph that has striking yellow coloration, combined with brown or black.

bumblebee ball python on black background
The bumblebee ball python has bright coloration and a docile temperament which make it an ideal pet.

The genetic information from this morph has contributed to countless other bee morphs but remains a favorite in the world of ball pythons.

As with most ball python morphs, the bumblebee ball python isn’t large and has a laid-back personality.

These snakes have the same normal care requirements that all ball pythons share.

Ball Python Background Information   

The ball python, Python regius, is a beautiful species that comes from the moist areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Their natural habitat consists of woodland with plenty of cover, and similar types of covered scrub.

You can find these animals near water sources, which they use to cool down and escape from the harsh African heat.

In the 1970s and 1980s, people discovered that the ball python was a beautiful animal, with its yellow and black pattern.

Soon, ball pythons were so commonplace in the pet trade that they were cheap.

That affordability, combined with the snake’s excellent personality, meant that people were eager to breed ball pythons, and soon turned to morphs.

We’ll talk more about ball python morphs later.

The final thing you need to know about wild ball pythons is that they have a diverse diet.

A wild ball python eats anything from small rodents to birds and small amphibians. It wouldn’t be surprising to find that these snakes catch fish as well.

What are Bumblebee Ball Python Morphs?

Bumblebee ball pythons are a designer morph of ball python. This means they’ve been bred to have the genes needed to create a specific coloration and pattern.

Wild ball pythons had a lot of genetic potential hidden in their standard black and brown patterning.

At first, snake breeders had an interest in getting more of the species into captivity. As time went by, they started breeding specific individuals with different appearances.

Some of the snakes had more yellow patterning or different patterns than a regular ball python. 

narrow black and brown bands on a bumblebee ball python
Bumblebee ball pythons have narrow black or brown bands on a yellow background.

As those traits became more focused and looked different, ball python morphs were born.

Each of the ball python morphs had a specific appearance. Breeders could produce more snakes with that appearance using certain breeding patterns.

The bumblebee ball python wasn’t one of the first ball python morphs, but it is the result of those first breeding attempts.

Bumblebee ball pythons have a specific appearance that it transfers to its descendants.

Of course, ball python breeders don’t always get the same morph when they breed two ball python morphs with one another.

Some genes are recessive, and appear when crossed with another snake bearing the same recessive gene.

Bumblebee Ball Python Appearance

The bumblebee ball python morph is spectacular. It has a yellow background, narrow black or brown bands, and bright coloration.

Like pastel ball pythons, the color of a bumblebee ball python is much brighter than that of regular ball pythons.

Ball python breeders have also crossed this morph with many others to create new bumblebee ball python morphs.

Each of the established morphs bred from bumblebee ball pythons has a different appearance and is a morph in its own right.

How Big Do Bumblebee Ball Pythons Get?

There’s a common myth among new reptile owners that each morph of an animal has a different size.

While this may be true in some animals when a specific color gene is also linked to a size difference, it’s a rare occurrence. 

medium-sized snake bumblebee ball python
Like most balls, the bumblebee ball python is a medium-sized snake that only reaches about five feet in length.
Image credit: u/FameLiquourLove (via Reddit.com)

The bumblebee ball python is the same length as normal ball pythons, just like most ball python morphs.

Normal ball pythons reach a length of around 5 feet, with the female ball python being larger than the male.

The ball python is small compared to some other species of python but maintains a large head and bulky build.

Its small size and lack of requirements attract many snake enthusiasts to this species.

You can fit seven or eight morphs, like the bumblebee ball python, pastel ball pythons, and cinnamon ball pythons into one large snake rack.

Buying Bumblebee Ball Pythons   

It used to be pretty difficult to find a reputable breeder who would sell you the color morphs you wanted at a reasonable price.

These days, it’s much easier to find what you’re looking for.

There are still some breeders who don’t breed ball pythons with enough foresight, but you can avoid those.

When you’re looking for your bumblebee ball python, you should avoid general listing websites and social media websites.

General websites that don’t specialize in reptiles are often full of basement breeders who may or may not be reputable.

The best place to buy bumblebee ball python morphs is at a reptile convention or expo.

Repticons stock hundreds of bumblebee ball python morphs and other morph types. Many reputable breeders nationwide attend.

Often, you’ll get to meet the breeder, and they may even allow you to handle the bumblebee ball python morph.

If you want community, quality breeding, and excellent prices, then expos are the place to go.

They’re not for everyone though, and some people prefer not having to make a sale face-to-face. For others, the reptile expos are too far away.

If you fall into either of those categories or don’t want to spend money to travel to the expo, you still have options.

You could try a reptile-specific store site like MorphMarket. It features breeders from across the US, selling everything from the pastel ball python to the Mojave.

MorphMarket runs detailed checks on their members, so you can’t just breed snakes and join. You must know which genes the snake has, and other details.

If you buy from sites like these, you can rest assured that you’re getting a quality animal. The snakes ship by express, so they often arrive within 24-48 hours.

How Much Do Bumblebee Ball Pythons Cost?

While bumblebee ball python morphs aren’t as rare as they once were, they’re still more expensive than a wild-type morph.

Bumblebee Ball Python on cloth
Bumblebee ball pythons have different prices, depending on their genetic makeup.
Image credit: u/kkdonut (via Reddit.com)

A designer bumblebee ball python morph may be far more expensive than a basic morph. Designer morphs have more gene diversity or crosses for a different appearance.

A bumblebee enchi, for example, may cost around $850 while a typical bumblebee morph costs around $250.

Bumblebee ball python morphs with the genes of more rare morphs get ever more expensive.

How much you pay depends on the breeder you buy from and the genetic material of the snake in question.

Caring for Your Bumblebee Ball Python Morph   

As with the myth about different morph sizes, many new keepers believe that different ball python morphs have different needs.

Bumblebee Ball Python Morph
Bumblebee ball pythons are just as easy to care for as other balls and require no special care.
Image credit: u/sunderex (via Reddit.com)

Nothing could be further from the truth, and a simple care sheet for ball pythons covers all the bases for the bumblebee morph.

We’ll talk about the basics here, and then you can check out our detailed care sheet for the finer details.

The bumblebee ball python morph is as easy to care for as most of the other morphs on the market.

The basic requirements for taking care of any type of ball python, including the bumblebee ball python morph, are:

  • Balanced temperature and humidity
  • Constant access to clean fresh water
  • Regular feedings of an appropriately sized prey item
  • A large enough enclosure with a decent amount of substrate
  • An enclosure with a tight-fitting lid that the snake can’t escape through
  • A temperature gradient that allows the snake to choose the warmth with which its most comfortable

In a moment we’ll have a quick look at each of these in greater detail. For now here are a few tips you need when bringing home your bumblebee ball python morph:

  • Make sure that all the equipment is up and running for the week before your new pet arrives.
  • Have a supply of frozen foods ready for your new snake, so that you can offer it a meal once it’s settled in.
  • After the first 3 days or so, start handling your bumblebee ball python morph at least twice a week so that it can get used to you.
  • Install at least three thermometers in the enclosure: one on each side of the tank and one in the middle. Having three separate measuring devices will allow you to check conditions and enclosure during the trial period.
  • Ensure that the snake’s enclosure is set up at least one week before you bring home your new pet.
    Doing so will prevent you from having to make many changes around the snake when you first bring it home, cutting down on stress and allowing it to settle in.

Now that you have a better idea of how to treat your new bumblebee ball python morph, let’s sketch in a few details about general care for ball pythons.

  1. Coco coir is the best substrate for ball pythons.
  2. Feed your bumblebee ball python morph once every five to seven days.
  3. Ball pythons are small (for pythons), and will never need prey larger than an adult mouse or small rat.
  4. Never handle a ball python when it’s about to shed, on a day it ate, or if you’ve been handling rats and mice.
  5. Keep the water bowl on the warm side of the tank so that it can contribute to the relative humidity level through evaporation.

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature and humidity are the most important aspects when you’re keeping any type of ball python, including the bumblebee ball python morph.

Although they come from subtropical environments, ball pythons don’t have the high humidity needs of many other subtropical species.

Your bumblebee ball python morph will be content in a tank with 60 to 70% relative humidity.

Ball pythons don’t bask so they DON’T need a heat lamp or basking light, but they do need a temperature gradient.

With most snakes, it’s essential to provide the option of moving between cool and warm areas.

Snakes are exothermic, which means they must control their body heat using outside sources.

By providing a temperature gradient you know your snake can choose the right location to stay in a healthy temperature zone.

You should aim for the following temperatures in different parts of the enclosure:

  • Cool side: 75-80°F
  • Warm side: 80-86°F
  • Ambient temperature: 80-83°F

The best way to provide your bumblebee ball python morph with the temperatures that it needs is using heat mats, heating pads, or heat tape.

Connecting any of these devices to a thermostat will give you a reliable temperature control device that will keep your snake’s enclosure within the optimal temperature range.

Bumblebee Ball Python Breeding

Bumblebee ball pythons are beautiful snakes, and it’s not uncommon for new keepers to want to breed these beauties.

Bumblebee Ball Python Breeding
You should consider carefully before deciding whether to breed the bumblebee morph, as it’s prone to kinking.
Image credit: u/SuperHuggz (via Reddit.com)

Before you decide whether you want to breed your snake, there are some things you should be aware of.

Bumblebee ball pythons are descendants of the spider and pastel morphs.

Anyone who’s been around or pythons long enough will tell you that the spider morph has certain genetic problems.

Spider ball pythons and spider ball python crosses are both prone to kinking and head wobbles.

Both conditions are painful to the snake. You can read more about them in the final section of this article. 

There are many possible debates about whether it’s ethical to breed spider ball python and morphs bread from spider ball pythons.

Many consider reproducing a snake that has serious genetic concerns to be a breach of ethical breeding practices.

If you’d like to breed a ball python we’d encourage you to choose a morph that doesn’t have the taint of the spider gene.

If you find that you’re willing to take the effects of breeding with these animals, you’ll find that there are many color morphs that you can produce this way.

Bumblebee ball pythons have played a part in the breeding process for various other snakes and are now available in enchi forms, axanthic morphs, and even banana.

We’ll take a look at one or two of the interesting morphs bred from the bumblebee in the following sections.

Banana Bumblebee Ball Python

Banana bumblebee ball python morphs are the result of a cross between a bumblebee ball python and a banana ball python.

It has the bright coloration typical of a banana or pastel ball python, and the unique pattern of the bumblebee ball python.

These unique morphs may cost anything from $200 to $800.

Axanthic Bumblebee Ball Python

The axanthic bumblebee ball python morph is another fascinating designer morph.

It has all the unique patterns of the bumblebee ball python, combined with the faded appearance of the axanthic ball python.

If you don’t know what an axanthic animal is, think of it as a partial albino. Albinos lack all the pigment which gives normal snakes their appearance.

Axanthic ball pythons lack either red pigments, yellow pigments, or both.

The axanthic bumblebee ball python morph comes in various shades of brown and gray, depending on which pigments are missing from its genetic makeup.

You can expect to pay around $1,300 for this morph.

What Genes Make a Bumblebee Ball Python?

The bumblebee ball python morph is a cross between the pastel ball python and the spider ball python.

These ball pythons have the brighter coloration of their pastel ancestors combined with the strange sprawling patterning of the spider morph.

Depending on the specific snakes used to breed a bumblebee ball python morph, it may exhibit any one of the other genetic traits found in ball pythons.

You may see a recessive trait surface, like with the axanthic bumblebee ball python morph, or see patterns change like with the enchi bumblebee ball python morph.

Any one of a thousand crosses are possible, but the main genetics for the bumblebee ball python morph is spider x pastel.

Do Bumblebee Ball Pythons Have Wobble?

As with most morphs developed from spider ball pythons, the bumblebee ball python morph may exhibit head wobble or kinking.

If you’re new to ball pythons, you may not be familiar with kinking and head wobble.

These are two genetic problems that affect ball pythons, in particular those with spiders somewhere in their genetic background.

Spider crosses like spinners and bumblebees are more prone to these genetic conditions than other ball pythons.

Kinking is a condition where the snake’s spine bends at odd angles in one direction or the other. It is a painful condition that subtracts a lot from your snake’s life.

Some snake enthusiasts claim that kinking improves with age, but there’s no solid scientific evidence to back up this claim.

Head wobble is another type of genetic condition affecting the snake’s neck.

It gets its name because a snake with this condition can seem to wobble from side to side as its head rotates on its neck.

Snakes with head wobble may have the neck bent to one side or even at a 90-degree angle from its body.

Neither kinking nor wobbling is ideal. Many ethical breeders avoid breeding morphs that tend to manifest this condition.

If you’re interested in breeding ball pythons, choose a morph with less potential for kinking and head wobble.

There’s much more to learn about ball pythons, like whether ball pythons have teeth, and how to set up a ball python enclosure.

If you’re not sure whether ball pythons are right for you, check out our ball python vs. corn snake article.

Now that you know all about the bumblebee ball python, will you bee getting one? Let us know in the comments.

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