Tri-colored Bumble Bee, Bombus ternarius
Excerpted from Bumble Bees of Wisconsin
Surely one of the most handsome bumble bees anywhere, this vibrantly colored bumble is sure to
catch your eye.
Hair length short and even. Thorax yellow, with a well-defined T-shaped black band between wings.
First abdominal segments yellow, segments 2 and 3 red-orange, segment 4 yellow, and the rest black.
Yellow hairs on face for, especially so for queens and males. Male color patterns identical to those of
workers, with some additional yellow on the last abdominal segments. Males also lack corbiculae, or
he flattened midleg of the hind leg used for transporting pollen.
Queen length: 17-19 mm
Female Worker length: 8-13 mm
Drone length: 9-13 mm
Queens emerge early, and colonies last well into September. Peak worker numbers in late July, with
new queens and drones present from late July to September.
Throughout Wisconsin, but particularly associated with woodlands and wetlands. Central and Northern
Wisconsin with the greatest number of historical 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