North American Bumblebees, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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. A list of all the bumblebee on this website is here. 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.

Bombus perplexus

Bombus perplexus Bombus perplexus**

Bombus perplexus male**
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.

Bombus bimaculatus, Two-spotted bumblebee

Bombus bimaculatus Bombus bimaculatus male**
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.

Bombus impatiens, Common eastern bumblebee

Bombus impatiens
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.

Bombus affinis Rusty-patched bumblebee

Bombus affinus Bombus affinis queen**
Range: Quebec, Ontario south to Georgia, west to South Dakota and North Dakota.
Note: 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/black 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.

Bombus vagans vagans, Half-black bumblebee

Bombus vagans vagans Bombus vagans male
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. Workers often have a black patch in the centre of the thorax.

Bombus sandersoni Sanderson's bumblebee

Bombus sandersoniBombus sandersoni
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.

Bombus frigidus

Bombus frigidus
Range: Alaska and Northwest territories, south to Colorado (high elevations only) in tundra, taiga and boreal forests. Nests above and below ground. Hair is long. Body lengths in mm, queen 17 -19, worker 8 - 11, male 10 - 15.

A rare species in the U. S. Favourite plants include; thistles, geranium, bluebells, dandelion, goldenrod, willow catkins and clovers in the east and fireweed, lupins, geraniums, snowberry and clovers in the west. Short - medium tongue length. Queens are seen from April, workers from July and males from May.

**Images taken from the wonderful