Red-belted Bumble Bee, Bombus rufocinctus
Excerpted from Bumble Bees of Wisconsin
A common, and incredibly diverse bee with respect to its color patterns. Over 30 different color morphs
make this species a tough one to identify readily. However, several common color patterns exist and
can be easily recognized.
Hair medium and even. Thorax yellow, with black band between wings. Abdominal coloration extremely
variable. Two primary color morphs exist, a light and dark. The light morph is pictured here. Abdominal
color pattern is generally yellow-yellow-red-red-black-black from T1-T6. Dark morph color pattern has
the same thoracic coloration, with the abdominal pattern being black-black-yellow-black-yellow-black
from T1-T6. Queens and workers are generally a bit smaller than other common species. Males with
similarly variable color patterns, but an obvious yellow beard on the middle of the face.
Queen length: 16-18 mm
Female Worker length: 11-12 mm
Drone length: 12-13 mm
Long lived colonies. Largest densities possible during July as all three castes are present. Look for
new queens in late July and early August.
The red-belted bumble bee can be seen throughout Wisconsin, but it is not as common as other
species. Historical and contemporary records suggest that this species makes up < 10% of records.
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