Currently viewing the category: "Bumble Bees"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large Flying Bug
Location: Maryland Eastern Shore
June 12, 2016 5:58 pm
I found this guy with a large bumblebee in its grasp. I searched extensively but got nowhere. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Nick

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Bumble Bee

Red Footed Cannibalfly eats Bumble Bee

Dear Nick,
Large Robber Flies are arguably the most adept aerial predators in the insect world.  Dragonflies are larger, but they don’t tend to prey on larger insects, mainly satisfying themselves with mosquitoes and smaller prey.  Not so large Robber Flies that tend to prey on bees and wasps.  Your individual is a Red Footed Cannibalfly,
Promachus rufipes, a species that begins to make a regular appearance among our identification requests beginning in June, and continuing through the hot summer months.  The Red Footed Cannibalfly is also called a Bee Panther.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bumble bees
Location: Alabama
May 24, 2016 2:26 pm
I seen a bumble bee flying around one of my birdhouses and I went a little closer see it. Two of them got after me and stung my right ear!! I’ve attached some photos.
Signature: Jerry Lee

Bumble Bee Nest in Bird House

Bumble Bee Nest in Bird House

Dear Jerry Lee,
Bumble Bees frequently nest in abandoned bird houses.  Bumble Bees are not aggressive, but they will defend a nest.  We would urge you to allow these native, beneficial pollinators to live in your bird house and to watch them from afar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bumble Bee?
Location: Manchester, CT.
January 27, 2016 6:45 pm
Dear Bugman,
I took this shot in 2007 in Manchester, CT., First question is, is this a Bumble Bee? and what is the yellow on it’s back leg? Is this a part of the bee? or maybe pollen it’s collecting? I’ve seen many similar bees, but not the yellow ? on the leg. Is it common?
Signature: buzz

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee

Dear buzz,
This is a Bumble Bee, and that is a full pollen basket on the hind leg.  Female Bumble Bees gather pollen when they are nesting to provide food for her developing brood.  It is likely that Bumble Bees are not as common as they once were in parts of their range.  BugGuide has the following information on when to sight Bumble Bees:  “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.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Velvet Ant, Wingless Butterfly?
Location: Central Nebraska
September 8, 2015 7:08 am
A colleague of mine snapped this photo in a Central Nebraska field – not sure what it is. Shows some similarities to velvet ants – but I have never seen this species if it is one and I have never seen one this “hairy”. Someone else suggested that it may be a butterfly without wings – not sure how that would happen.
Signature: T. J. Walker

Wingless Male Bumblebee

Wingless Male Bumble Bee

Dear T.J.,
We didn’t have enough time to do any research this morning, and even posting took too much time.  We did manage to write the following to Eric Eaton:  “Hi Eric,  This looks like a wingless Hymenopteran, but it doesn’t look like any Velvet Ant I have seen.  Except for the antennae, it looks vaguely moth like.  Thoughts?  It is from Nebraska.  Daniel”

Wingless Male Bumbleb  Bee
Daniel:
It is a male bumble bee that may not have developed wings during the pupa stage.  Been getting a few reports of this in paper wasps, first one I’ve seen for a bumble bee.
Eric

So T.J., an identification isn’t enough for us.  We want to know how to tell a male Bumble Bee from a female, and we suspect the antennae play a big part.  We are curious if not having wings will prevent this male from mating because we know Bees mate in the air.  We believe, like the Luna Moth image we just posted, that your Bumble Bee will not produce progeny.  We want to know if the winglessness is a genetic mutation, the result of some trauma to the developing Bee, or something entirely unexpected.

Daniel, thanks.
Would not have gotten to that identification.  Don’t know if I have seen a gray and white bumblebee.
I have CC’d the photographer, Ben Wheeler.
Ben, see below.
T. J. Walker

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bumblebees (for adult viewing)
Location: Oceanside, NY
September 10, 2014 2:51 pm
It’s THAT time of year!
I thought you might like to add this to your collection.
Any idea which bumblebees these two are?
Signature: CarlF

Mating Bumble Bees

Mating Bumble Bees

Dear CarlF,
Though we try our best to keep our site PG rated and kid friendly, we do not shy away from posting images of the proverbial “birds and the bees” as well as images of other insects mating, making our Bug Love tag one of our most popular features.  We believe your mating Bumble Bees are most likely the Common Eastern Bumble Bees,
Bombus impatiens, based on images posted to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant Bumble Bee
Location: Northwest Indiana
August 21, 2014 9:08 pm
Hi,
I was out at an arboretum last Saturday and we saw what I believe is a species of bumble bee. It was HUGE. I managed to snag a photo of it, with what I think is a European honey bee in the same shot, so you can see how large it really is
Signature: JV

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee

Dear JV,
We believe your Bumble Bee is an American Bumble Bee,
Bombus pensylvanicus, based on images and information on Bugguide where it states:  “Has declined severely at the northern margin of its range, where now absent from or at best very rare at many historical localities, but still routinely found in its core range to the south as evidenced by the many Bugguide images.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination