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  
       
 

In the not-too-distant past, bumble bees were often placed in the in the subfamily Bombinae, and sometimes in the family Bombidae. Today, both of these terms are considered taxonomically invalid, though they can still be found in use on the Web.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

common eastern bumble bee

 
       
 

As its common name suggests, common eastern bumble bee is common. In fact, it is the most common bumble bee in eastern North America.

 
       

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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Bobbi Johnson

 
    common eastern bumble bee      
 

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)  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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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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