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 species distributions, habitat requirements (especially overwintering habitat),
phenology, and population status are needed to improve conservation 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.