Wisconsin Native Bumble Bees

Bumble bees are important pollinators that usher in the start of spring and remind us of bright, warm summer days. In recent years, several of the species that occur in Wisconsin and the Midwest have been in decline. A host of factors including loss of flowers, expanding agriculture, diseases and parasites, as well as altered weather patterns have all taken their toll on these essential insects.

This guide serves as a quick reference for all bumble bee species in Wisconsin. You can click on the species name on the left to learn more about each species including where it’s found, the common color morphs you are likely to see, as well as the flowers that are preferred forage.

Much remains unknown about the distribution and biology of all Wisconsin's bumble bee species. Accurate information on speciesdistributions, habitat requirements (especially overwintering habitat), phenology, and population status are needed to improveconservation planning and management actions of these important pollinators.

There might actually be a useful purpose for having a favorite color — at least if you're a bumble bee. Bumblebees prefer violet-colored native flowers to other available blooms

Identity your Bumble Bee by matching it to one of the Bumble Bee species pictures below.

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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