American Bumble Bee, Bombus pennsylvanicus

Excerpted from Bumble Bees of Wisconsin

American Bumble Bee, Bombus pennsylvanicus This lovely bee can be found throughout the US East, and is a rather handsome specimen! Their super dark wings and short, even hair gives them a more formal appearance.

Physical Description

Hair length short and even. Thorax with yellow band(s), typically anterior. First abdominal segment often yellow in middle. Second and third abdominal segments entirely yellow, with remainder of tail black. Dark wings. Hair on top of the head always black. Males typically with an entirely yellow abdomen. Queens are typically large, similar in size to B. auricomus.

Activity Period

American Bumble Bee activity period Queens emerge late, and colonies last well into August. Peak worker numbers in late July, with new queens and drones present from late July to September.

Range

American Bumble Bee, Bombus pennsylvanicus graphic Throughout Wisconsin, but typically associated with more open habitats south of the North woods. Current records of this species in Wisconsin are rare.

Preferred Flowers

 Vetches
 Goldenrod
 Clover

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

Bumble Bee Buzz Pollination

Bumble Bee Buzz Pollination

Only Bumble Bees do it! Buzz pollinated flowers wait until a bee comes along and vibrates at just the right frequency and out comes the pollen in a spew.

Bee Quiz Logo

Take The Bumble Bee Quiz

Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about Bumble Bees. This quiz is intended for fun, in a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar

Caterpillar ID Guide

Identify who is nibbling on your native plants. You will find over 30 Wisconsin native butterfly caterpillars.