Half-black Bumble Bee, Bombus vagans

Excerpted from Bumble Bees of Wisconsin

Half-black Bumble Bee, Bombus vagans A common bumble bee found throughout Wisconsin. Queens and workers of this species are typically a bit smaller than average.

Physical Description

Hair medium and a bit shaggy. Thorax yellow, with black circle/dot between wings. Abdominal color standard across castes: the first two segments are entirely yellow, while the remaining four are black. Queens and workers are generally a bit smaller than other common species. Males with similar color patterns, but an obvious yellow beard on the middle of the face. Some male morphs have some to an entirely yellow abdomen and thorax

Activity Period

Half-black Bumble Bee activity period Long lived colonies. Largest densities possible during July as all three castes are present. Look for new queens in late July and early August.

Range

Half-black Bumble Bee, Bombus vagans graphic Has a wide distribution in North America, its range extending from Ontario to Nova Scotia and southward to Georgia.

Preferred Flowers

 Beardtongue
 Milkweed
 Aster

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.

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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.

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Caterpillar ID Guide

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