Other Common Names
Proposed common names
for 20 spp. (Scroll down)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
includes Psithyrus as a subgenus
46 spp. (in 8 subgenera) n. of Mex. (1)
, (~260 spp. (in 15 subgenera) worldwide) (2)
Throughout N. Amer. - 43 spp. in the west (list
), 24 in the east (list
), and 18 in the south (list
also most of the world (incl. high Arctic), but present in Africa only north of the Sahara and not native to Australia although introduced to Tasmania (map
Generally distributed but most abundant and diverse at humid, cool sites rich in flowers, such as mountain meadows.
Mated, overwintered Queens emerge from their hibernacula in very early-late spring, depending on the species. Workers emerge in late spring-early summer after which they build in numbers, and persist until late summer-late fall depending on the species. Virgin queens and males appear in summer-fall, depending on the species, and visit flowers at that time along with foraging workers. At the end of the season workers and males die and mated queens enter their hibernacula where they remain dormant until spring. In warm areas such as southern California and south Florida bumble bees can be found flying even in mid-winter.
Cameron et al. (2011) quantified dramatic range-wide population declines in B. occidentalis, B. pensylvanicus, B. affinis
, and B. terricola
that have occurred over the last few decades. (7)
bee-mimicking robber flies Laphria
Milliron, H. E. 1971. A monograph of Western Hemisphere bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae; Bombinae) I. The genera Bombus and Megabombus subgenus Bombias. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada 82: 1-80.
Milliron, H. E. 1973a. A monograph of Western Hemisphere bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae; Bombinae) II. The genus Megabombus subgenus Megabombus. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada 89: 81-237.
Milliron, H. E. 1973b. A monograph of Western Hemisphere bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae; Bombinae) III. The genus Pyrobombus subgenus Cullumanobombus. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada 91: 239-333.
Mitchell, T.B. 1962. Bees of the eastern United States, volume 2. North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 152: 1-557.
Stephen, W. P. 1957. Bumble bees of western America. Oregon State College: Agricultural Experiment Station, Technical Bulletin 40. 163 pp.
Thorp, R. W., D. S. Horning Jr., and L. L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23: 1-79.
Warriner, M.D. 2011. Bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) of remnant grasslands in Arkansas. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 84(1): 43-50.
Warriner, M.D. 2012. Bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) of Texas: historical distributions. (8)
Williams, P.H. 1998. An annotated checklist of bumble bees with an analysis of patterns of description (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombini). Bulletin of The Natural History Museum (Entomology) 67: 79-152.
Williams, P.H., S.A. Cameron, H.M. Hines, B. Cederberg, and P. Rasmont. 2008. A simplified subgeneric classification of the bumblebees (genus Bombus). Apidologie 39 (1): 46-74.
Bumble Bees of the Eastern United States
is an indispensable new bumble bee identification resource for the Eastern United States. For the first time, melittologists (scientists who study bees) Colla, Richardson, and Williams provide an easy-to-use illustrated and engaging field guide to the most commonly encountered bumble bees. (10)
Bumble Bees of the Western United States
, Jonathan Koch, James Strange, & Paul Williams, product of the US Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership. (11)