red-belted bumble bee

(Bombus rufocinctus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

red-belted bumble bee

NatureServe

N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Frequently found

Flight/Season

June to September

Habitat

 

Size

Queen: to 11 16

Worker: 7 16 to ½

Male: ½

         
          Photo by Bill Reynolds

Identification

The female (worker) bee is 7 16 to ½ long. The thorax and abdomen are densely covered with short hairs. The thorax is mostly yellow with a conspicuous black dot-shaped mark. Females have six abdominal segments. The first and fourth abdominal segments are yellow, the second and third are reddish, and the fifth and sixth are black. The head is black with a few light hairs above the antennae. The tongue is short.

The queen is similar but longer and plumper.

 
Similar
Species

Tricolored bumble bee (Bombus ternarius) has a black T-shaped mark, not a dot, on the thorax.


Larval Food

Honey mixed with pollen and nectar of flowers.

 
Adult Food

Pollen and nectar of flowers, especially flowers of clovers, sweet clovers, thistles, goldenrods, bonesets, and asters

 
Life Cycle

The queen emerges from hibernation and searches for a new nesting site in May.

 
Behavior

Bumble bees will sting to protect themselves or their nest. The stinger is not barbed and the bee can sting multiple times.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 29.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)

 

Suborder:

Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)

 

Infraorder:

Aculeata

 

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

 

Genus:

Bombus (bumble bees)

 

Subgenus:

Cullumanobombus

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

red-belted 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)

 

       

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Bill Reynolds


This is Bumble I see quite often here in Minnesota. The flower is a chive growing in my garden.

  red-belted bumble bee    

       
       
       

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Bill Reynolds
6/18/2003

This is Bumble I see quite often here in Minnesota. The flower is a chive growing in my garden.

 

red-belted bumble bee


     
     
 

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