Wisconsin Native Bumble Bee Species

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.

Bee in winter graphic

Where Do Bees Go In Winter?

Ever wondered where bees go in the winter? With over 20,000 species of bee worldwide, there are so many different strategies for surviving the cold months!

Bee Quiz Logo

Take The Bee Quiz

Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about bee pollination. 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.