Confusing Bumble Bee, Bombus perplexus
Excerpted from Bumble Bees of Wisconsin
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.
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
Standard colony activity cycle, however not much is known given that this species is relatively
uncommon and easily confused with other, more common species.
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.
Slo-Mo Footage of a Bumble Bee Dislodging Pollen
Look Inside a Bumblebee Nest
How to Build a Bumble Bee House
Development of Colony and Nest in the Bumblebee