Yellow-banded Bumble Bee, Bombus terricola

Excerpted from Bumble Bees of Wisconsin

Yellow-banded Bumble Bee, Bombus terricola One of the rarest bumble bees in Wisconsin. Once one of the most common in the wetlands of central Wisconsin, now we struggle to locate populations. This species is a candidate for protection under the endangered species act.

  Physical Description

Body hair medium length and even. Thorax yellow on the front third, and all black on the back two-thirds. First abdominal segment black, second two dark yellow, often with a darker patch on the front of the first yellow segment. Remainder of the tail black, with a fringe of small yellow hairs on the margin of segment 5. Males lack corbiculae, or the flattened midleg of the hind leg used for transporting pollen.

  • Queen length: 18 mm
  • Female Worker length: 9-14 mm
  • Drone length: 13-17 mm

  Activity Period

Yellow-banded Bumble Bee activity period Somewhat shorter colony cycles, but we don’t know much about this species. Queens emerge April/May depending on weather. Workers can be found late May to August/September. New queens and males anywhere from June to September.


Yellow-banded Bumble Bee, Bombus terricola graphic Bombus terricola is thought to be historically distributed across the state. However, modern records only find it in select places, including the marshy wetlands of central Wisconsin.

  Preferred Flowers


Bumble Bee Videos

 Buzz Pollination
 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

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