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Genus Bombus - Bumble Bees

bee with strange triangle patch on back - Bombus borealis - female Bombus species - Bombus Which species of Bumble Bee is this? - Bombus vosnesenskii Bombus - Bombus vagans Unknown male Bombus - Bombus bimaculatus - male not quite Bombus pensylvanicus - Bombus citrinus 226 - Bombus vancouverensis Furry Bumble Bee on Tall Thistle - Bombus pensylvanicus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon (Apoidea (clade Anthophila) - Bees)
Family Apidae (Cuckoo, Carpenter, Digger, Bumble, and Honey Bees)
Subfamily Apinae (Honey, Bumble, Longhorn, Orchid, and Digger Bees)
Tribe Bombini (Bumble Bees)
Genus Bombus (Bumble Bees)
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)

* - a 47th species (B. kluanensis) was described in 2016 - source
Females collect pollen in a corbicula (vs scopa); this is a flattened area on the tibia
Loaded up corbicula
Corbicula with some pollen

Male Bombus have no corbicula on the hind leg. They also have 7 segments to the abdomen instead of 6. - Liz Day

Overview of species(2)
Species kirbiellus - Golden-belted Bumble Bee
Species natvigi - High Nearctic Bumble Bee
Species polaris - Polar Bumble Bee

Species auricomus - Black and Gold Bumble Bee
Species nevadensis - Bombus nevadensis

Species affinis - Rusty Patched Bumble Bee
Species cryptarum - Cryptic Bumble Bee

Species occidentalis - Western Yellow-banded Bumble Bee

Species terricola - Yellowbanded Bumble Bee

Species crotchii - Bombus crotchii

Species fraternus - Southern Plains Bumble Bee
Species griseocollis - Brownbelted Bumble Bee
Species morrisoni - Bombus morrisoni

Species rufocinctus - Redbelted Bumble Bee

Species citrinus - Lemon Cuckoo Bumble Bee
Species fernaldae - Fernald Cuckoo Bumble Bee
Species insularis - Indiscriminate Cuckoo Bumble Bee
Species suckleyi - Suckleyi Bumblebee

Species variabilis - Variable Cuckoo Bumblebee

Species bimaculatus - Twospotted Bumble Bee
Species caliginosus - Fog-belt Bumble Bee
Species centralis - Bombus centralis

Species frigidus - Frigid Bumble Bee

Species huntii - Bombus huntii
Species impatiens - Common Eastern Bumble Bee
Species melanopygus - Bombus melanopygus
Species mixtus - Bombus mixtus
Species perplexus - Confusing Bumble Bee
Species sitkensis - Bombus sitkensis

Species sylvicola - Bombus sylvicola

Species ternarius - Tricolored Bumble Bee
Species vagans - Half-black Bumble Bee

Species vancouverensis - Vancouver Bumble Bee

Species vandykei - Bombus vandykei

Species vosnesenskii - Yellow-faced Bumble Bee

Species appositus - Bombus appositus

Species borealis - Boreal Bumble Bee

Species californicus - Bombus californicus

Species fervidus - Golden Northern Bumble Bee
Species pensylvanicus - American Bumble Bee
Species sonorus - Sonoran Bumble Bee
Pictorial guides to North American spp.(3), to IL spp.(4)
CA spp.:(5)
Throughout N. Amer. - 43 spp. in the west (list), 24 in the east (list), and 18 in the south (list)(6)
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)(2)
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)

**The IUCN Red List lists 15 species in our area as near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered.**
See Also
bee-mimicking robber flies Laphria and Mallophora
Print References
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. Full Text
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.
Internet References
Flight of the bumblebee, by R.W. Husband
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)
Works Cited
1.Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide
Williams et al. 2014. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 208 pp.
2.Ascher J.S., Pickering J. (2017) Discover Life bee species guide and world checklist (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila)
5.Bumble Bees and Cuckoo Bumble Bees of California
Robbin W. Thorp, Donald S. Horning, Jr., Lorry L. Dunning. 1983. University of California Press, Berkeley.
6.Bombus bumblebees of the world
7.Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees.
Cameron et al. 2011. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 108: 662-667. .
8.Bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) of Texas: historical distributions.
Warriner, M.D. 2012. Southwestern Naturalist 57(4): 442-445.
9.Bumble Bee Watch
10.Bumble Bees of the Eastern United States
Sheila Colla, Leif Richardson, Paul Williams. 2011. USDA.
11.Bumble Bees of the Western United States
Jonathan Koch, James Strange, and Paul Williams. U.S. Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership.