Confusing Bumble Bee, Bombus perplexus

Excerpted from Bumble Bees of Wisconsin

Confusing Bumble Bee, Bombus perplexus As its name suggests, this bumble bee can be rather perplexing to identify! As it’s not very common, rather little is known about this very fuzzy bumble bee.

  Physical Description

Body hair long length and shaggy. Thorax entirely yellow, unlike B. vagans. First and second abdominal segments fully yellow, with all remaining segments black in females. Queens distinctly larger than workers. Males always with yellow patch of hair in middle of face, forming a “beard” or “mustache” feature, as well as having an almost entirely yellow abdomen. Males also lack corbiculae, or the flattened midleg of the hind leg used for transporting pollen.

  • Queen length: 17-21 mm
  • Female Worker length: 12-14 mm
  • Drone length: 12-14 mm

  Activity Period

Confusing Bumble Bee activity period Standard colony activity cycle, however not much is known given that this species is relatively uncommon and easily confused with other, more common species.


Confusing Bumble Bee, Bombus perplexus graphic Historical records indicate that B. perplexus can be found throughout Wisconsin. However, more thorough modern surveys are needed to assess the current range of the species.

  Preferred Flowers


Bumble Bee Videos

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