Bumble Bee Tomatoes (Sunrise, Pink): Description, Flavor, Benefits, And Uses

Welcome to the world of Bumble Bee Tomatoes! These little tomatoes are a favorite among gardeners and cooks alike. They offer a unique, sweet flavor and beautiful color that adds something special to any recipe. But what exactly are these delightful little tomatoes? Here is everything you need to know about them.

What are Bumble Bee Tomatoes?

Bumble Bee Tomatoes, or Sunrise or Pink Tomatoes, are a type of heirloom variety. These small tomatoes have an average size of 1 to 2 inches and come in shades of yellow, orange, pink, and red. They offer a much sweeter flavor than other tomato varieties, with just the right balance of acidity.

Bumble Bee Tomatoes Description

Varieties of Bumble Bee Tomatoes (Sunrise, Pink): 

Bumble Bee tomatoes come in two varieties, Sunrise and Pink. The Sunrise variety has a yellowish-orange hue with a sweet flavor. Its firm flesh makes it perfect for slicing into salads or adding to sandwiches. It produces fruits that are around 2 inches in diameter.

The Pink variety is more of an oblong tomato with a deep pink color. It has a mild flavor that is slightly more acidic than the Sunrise variety. The Pink variety produces about 2 1/2 inches in diameter fruits and can be used for many cooking applications, such as slicing into salads or making sauces and salsas. Both types are extremely prolific and can produce heavy yields of delicious fruit, making them ideal for home gardens. 

History of Bumble Bee Tomatoes: 

The Sunrise variety of Bumble Bee Tomatoes was developed in 1978 by the late plant breeder and horticulturist Dr. John Swenson. This classic tomato is an heirloom variety that has been grown for generations in many parts of the world. It produces beautiful, round, deep-red fruit with a sweet flavor, making it a favorite for salads and other dishes. Growing in many climates and well in containers or raised beds is easy.

  • The Pink variety of Bumble Bee Tomatoes was developed by the same horticulturist Dr. John Swenson but around twenty years later as an improvement of the original Sunrise variety. The Pink variety produces larger and sweeter fruit than the Sunrise variety. 
  • This sweet tomato has a light pink hue on the outside with an orange center, giving it a unique appearance and flavor. It is also easy to grow in many climates, making it popular among home gardeners.

Both varieties have been part of the heirloom heritage of tomato-growing families for generations.

Description of the Bumble Bee Tomatoes: 

Bumble Bee Tomatoes are a classic heirloom variety, with Sunrise and Pink varieties available. The Sunrise variety produces tomatoes that are about two inches in diameter and have a deep red color. They have a sweet flavor, making them great for salads or other dishes. The Pink variety is slightly larger than the Sunrise variety, growing to about 2 ½ inches. The Pink variety has an orange center with a light pink hue on the outside, giving it a unique flavor and appearance. 

Where do Bumble Bee Tomatoes Grow?

Bumble Bee Tomatoes are well suited for both outdoor and indoor gardening. They prefer warm, sunny climates with plenty of water and nutrients to thrive. When planted outside, they should be carefully monitored as the nutrient levels can quickly become unbalanced in extreme temperatures. Additionally, it is important to note that Bumble Bee Tomatoes should be planted at least 6 inches apart from other plants to ensure they receive the proper growing space.

Cultivation of the Bumble Bee Tomatoes: 

Bumble Bee tomatoes are best suited to areas with plenty of sunshine and temperatures between 70-85°F (21-29°C). They should be planted in a sunny location and protected from strong winds. Bumble Bee tomatoes need at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water per week through rainfall or irrigation. They should be watered more deeply during dry spells to keep the soil evenly moist.

Bumble Bee tomatoes also require fertilization every two weeks during the growing season. A balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 should be applied at a 1/2 cup (120 mL) per 10 feet (3 m) of row. The tomatoes should also be staked or caged to support the vines and keep the fruits from touching the ground.

Harvesting usually begins when Bumble Bee tomatoes are bright red and fully ripe. Fruits should be picked every two to three days to ensure a steady supply throughout the season. It is best to pick the tomatoes before they become overripe to maintain their flavor and texture. Bumble Bee tomatoes can be harvested from late summer into fall with proper care.

Harvested Bumble Bee Tomatoes

How to Care for Bumble Bee Tomatoes?

Caring for Bumble Bee Tomatoes is relatively simple. These tomatoes need plenty of sunlight, water, and nutrients to thrive. It is important to carefully monitor the soil to ensure it has a pH of 6.5-7.0 and adequate nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for successful growth. Additionally, regular pruning of the plant can help encourage more tomato production.

Harvesting Bumble Bee Tomatoes:

Bumble Bee Tomatoes are usually ready to be harvested about 80-100 days after planting. These tomatoes should be picked when they are slightly firm and the skin is bright. It is important to note that these tomatoes do not store well, so it is best to harvest them as needed or preserve them for later use.

What do Bumble Bee Tomatoes Taste like?

Bumble Bee Tomatoes have a sweet and tangy flavor, making them ideal for salads, sandwiches, and sauces. They can also be enjoyed raw as a snack or used in cooking to add flavor to dishes. With their unique taste and easy-to-grow nature, Bumble Bee Tomatoes are an excellent choice for adding variety to your garden.

Health Benefits of the Bumble Bee Tomatoes?

Bumble Bee Tomatoes are packed with nutrients that can benefit your health. They are a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and protect against certain cancers. Additionally, these tomatoes are high in Vitamin C and potassium, which can help keep your immune system strong and regulate blood pressure. Finally, Bumble Bee Tomatoes are low in calories and fat, making them a perfect addition to a healthy diet.

Where are Bumble Bee Tomatoes Grown?

Bumble Bee tomatoes are grown mainly in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. They are considered a warm-climate crop and thrive when temperatures are warmer during the day and cooler at night. The tomato plants require well-draining soils rich in organic matter, which helps keep them moist but not wet.

Where can the Best Quality Bumble Bee Tomatoes be Found?

The best quality Bumble Bee Tomatoes can be found at local farmers‘ markets or specialty grocery stores. You may also find Bumble Bee tomatoes in online retailers and some greenhouses. It is important to check with the seller to ensure that they provide fresh, high-quality produce before purchasing.

What are the things you need to keep in mind when Buying Bumble Bee Tomatoes?

When buying Bumble Bee Tomatoes, there are a few things to remember. First, look for tomatoes with an even, deep red color and avoid those with green patches or any spots on them. The skin should be smooth and firm, not soft or wrinkled. 

Also, try to buy heavy tomatoes for their size; this indicates that they are fresh and juicy. Choose the tomatoes with the stem still attached, as it helps retain moisture. When you get them home, store them in a cool place from direct sunlight and use them within one or two days for the best results.

What is the Best Way to Store Bumble Bee Tomatoes?

The best way to store Bumble Bee Tomatoes is to keep them in a cool, dry place like a pantry or cupboard. If you have the space, storing them in a container that lets air flow through, such as a basket or colander, is best. This will prevent moisture from getting trapped and help keep them from spoiling quickly. 

Check your tomatoes every few days and discard any that are starting to go bad. If you need longer-term storage, freezing is an option — make sure the tomatoes are dry before putting them in the freezer. Bumble Bee Tomatoes can be stored for up to a few weeks with a little care. Enjoy them while they’re fresh.

How to use Bumble Bee Tomatoes in Recipes?

Bumble Bee Tomatoes are a great addition to any recipe and can be used in various ways. They make an excellent base for soups, stews, salads, or pasta. Try roasting Bumble Bee Tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, and herbs for a quick and easy side dish. They also work well when sautéed with onions and peppers for a delicious stir-fry. You can bake them into casseroles or quiches, top them on pizzas, add them to omelets, or mix them into dips and sauces. No matter how you use Bumble Bee Tomatoes, they will surely bring a big flavor to your recipes. Experiment and find your favorite way to enjoy them. 


Bumble Bee Tomatoes are a unique and flavorful variety of tomato that makes a delicious addition to any garden. With careful monitoring and regular pruning, these tomatoes can produce an abundant crop throughout the growing season, making them a great choice for indoor and outdoor gardens.

Happy Gardening! 🙂

Mitch Baylis