common eastern bumble bee

(Bombus impatiens)

Conservation Status
common eastern bumble bee
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Common eastern bumble bee, as the name suggests, is the most common bumble bee in North America.

The first abdominal segment is yellow, all others are black. The hairs on the top of the head are yellow.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Queen: to 13 16

Worker: 5 16 to

Male: ½ to

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Clearings in forests, roadsides, open areas, suburbs, urban areas.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

March to November

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Larvae are fed both nectar for carbohydrates and pollen for protein.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Adults feed mostly on nectar but also on some pollen.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 29, 30.

 
  1/28/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)  
 

Suborder

Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)  
 

Infraorder

Aculeata (ants, bees and stinging wasps)  
  Clade Anthophila  
 

Superfamily

Apoidea (apoid wasps, bees, sphecoid wasps)  
 

Family

Apidae (bumble bees, honey bees, and stingless bees)  
 

Subfamily

Apinae (honey, bumble, long-horned, orchid, and digger bees)  
 

Tribe

Bombini (bumble bees)  
 

Genus

Bombus (bumble bees)  
  Subgenus Pyrobombus  
       
 

Some authors separate bumble bees and orchid bees into a the subfamily Bombinae. NCBI34 follows this classification. Other authors follow Michener (2007)35 and include those groups in the subfamily Apinae with the bumble bees and honey bees.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

common eastern bumble bee

 
       

Bumble Bee or Bumblebee?

In common usage the word bumblebee is written at least as often as the as the term bumble bee. In scientific usage, however, there is a “correct” form. The rule is: if the second part of the term accurately reflects the organism’s identity then it should stand alone. If it does not, then it should be concatenated. In short, “If true, then two.”

The Entomological Society of America follows the convention suggested by R. E. Snodgrass, author of Anatomy of the Honey Bee, when assigning common names to insects. Snodgrass states, “If the insect is what the name implies, write the two words separately; otherwise run them together. Thus we have such names as house fly, blow fly and robber fly contrasted with dragonfly, caddisfly and butterfly, because the latter are not flies, just as an dandelion is not a lion and a silverfish is not a fish. The honey bee is an insect and is preeminently a bee; ‘honeybee’ is equivalent to ‘Johnsmith.’”

Bumble Bee Identification

Elaine Evans, a PhD candidate in the Department on Entomology at the University of Minnesota, the University of MN Bee Lab, and BefriendingBumblebees.com have published a handy identification chart of Minnesota bumble bees. Handy, that is, for entomologists. Indispensable for amateur naturalists in Minnesota or anyone wanting to identify the bumble bee in their photo. Click on the images below to download the PDFs.

 

Guide to MN Bumble Bees I
(Females)

Guide to MN Bumble Bees I (Females)

 

 

Guide to MN Bumble Bees II
(Males)

Guide to MN Bumble Bees II (Males)

 

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Alfredo Colon
       
  common eastern bumble bee    
       
Luciearl
       

Note full pollen basket.

  common eastern bumble bee    
       
Bill Reynolds
       
  common eastern bumble bee    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
  common eastern bumble bee   common eastern bumble bee
       
  common eastern bumble bee   common eastern bumble bee
       
  common eastern bumble bee   common eastern bumble bee
       
  common eastern bumble bee   common eastern bumble bee
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)  
     
  Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)
Bill Keim
 
  Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Apidae: Bombus impatiens) Exhausted by Wind
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 29, 2009

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (28 June 2009). "Somethings that fly there be, -- Birds, hours, the bumble-bee: / Of these no elegy." --Emily Dickinson

   
       
  Bombus impatiens, Bumble bees
maculifrons
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 27, 2010

-

   
       
  Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Apidae: Bombus impatiens) on Blossom
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 12, 2009

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (12 July 2009). "Bees are Black, with Gilt Surcingles-- / Buccaneers of Buzz / Ride abroad in ostentation / And subsist on Fuzz." --Emily Dickinson

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

Report a sighting of this insect.

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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.

Alfredo Colon
9/25/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

common eastern bumble bee


Luciearl
9/5/2018

Location: Lake Shore, MN

Note full pollen basket.

common eastern bumble bee


Crystal Boyd
6/10 and 6/11/2013

Location: Uncas Dunes SNA

queen

 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
         

 

 

Binoculars


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