Related pages N. American cuckoo bumblebees - Is it a bumblebee? - Looks like a bumblebee - Other bees1, 2
There are 46 species of bumblebee in north America. The body lengths are in millimetres and do not include the antennae. The tongue lengths are given when known as this will help in ID as a short tongued bee cannot reach the nectar of a long corolla flower unless it is nectar robbing, and a long tongued bee can forage from any flower, but will usually show a preference for complicated or long corolla flowers. For more on this see the tongue page. And the behaviour page.
Range: Alaska to Maine, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, south to Wisconsin, Illinois, West Virginia, Florida, Alberta.
Body length, queen 18 - 20 mm, worker 11 - 14 mm, male 13 - 14 mm. Medium tongue length. Found in woods, woodland edges, parks, gardens, wetlands. Nests underground, on the surface and in tree hollows. Short colony life. Queens seen from April, workers from May and males from June.
A common species. Favourite flowers include; hydrangea, rhododendrons, honeysuckle, cherry, currants.
Range: Ontario, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, south to Florida, west to Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Kentucky.
Notes: A common species with a medium tongue length, long, uneven hair, nesting both below and above ground. Found in woods, parks and gardens. Body lengths, queen 18 - 22 mm, workers 10 - 16 mm, males 12 - 15 mm. Queens seen from April, workers from May, and males from June.
Favourite flowers: thistles, St John's wort, clovers, goldenrod and vetches.
Range: Ontario, Maine, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, south to Florida, west to Michigan, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Wyoming.
Range: Quebec, Ontario south to Georgia, west to South Dakota and North Dakota.
Note: Also known as the rusty-patched bumblebee. Once common, but its range has declined sharply since 1990, now found in only a few areas, and may soon be listed as endangered. Found close to woodlands, parks and gardens. Often has a bald patch between the wings in the middle of the thorax. Body lengths in mm, queen 19 - 23, worker 9 - 16, male 14 - 17. Hair longish and even. Short tongued. Nests underground. Nectar robber. Favourite flowers include; sunflowers, asters, goldenrods, honeysuckle. Nests parasitised by B. ashtonii. Queens seen from April, workers from June and males from July.
Range: British Columbia east to Nova Scotia, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania south to Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington. In forests, wetlands, parks and gardens. Common species. Favourite flowers include; penstemon, milkweeds, asters, thistles and spirea.
Body lengths, queen 17 - 21mm, worker 11 - 14 mm, male 11 - 14 mm. Long - medium tongued. Nests underground and on surface. Can be seen foraging in shady areas not used by other species of bumblebee. Queens seen from April, workers from May and males from June.
Range: Ontario to Newfoundland, south to Tennessee Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, in or near woodland. Nests underground. Short - medium length tongue, hair short and even. Body lengths, queen 15 - 17 mm, worker 10 - 14 mm, male 12 - 15. An uncommon species. Favourite flowers include; epilobium, bee balm, penstemon, apples, raspberry. Queens seen from May, workers and males from June.
**Images taken from the wonderful https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/albums