Currently viewing the category: "Bumble Bees"
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

Subject: bee
Location: Colorado front range
July 12, 2014 3:22 pm
I have seen the attached orange body bee twice now at elevations above 9000 feet in Colorado. Can you identify it for me?
Thanks/Fred
Signature: Fred Foto

Hunt's Bumble Bee, we believe

Hunt’s Bumble Bee, we believe

Dear Fred,
There are several species of Bumble Bees with red stripes on the abdomen, and we believe your individual is a Hunt’s Bumble Bee,
Bombus huntii, a species that BugGuide reports at high elevations.  The Yellow Fronted Bumble Bee, Bombus flavifrons, which is pictured on BugGuide, is also a high elevation species and like your individual, it appears considerably furrier than the Hunt’s Bumble Bee.  Our money is on Hunt’s Bumble Bee.

Hunt's Bumble Bee, we believe

Hunt’s Bumble Bee, we believe

Thanks very much.  I take a lot of flower pictures, and often see a pollinators on flowers.
Let me know if I can help support your site.
Fred Fisher

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bees in Compost!!
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
July 9, 2014 8:28 pm
Hello!!! I’m in Calgary, AB, Canada and have had some bees move into the compost in my backyard. It’s now mid July and I noticed them about a week ago, but I have no idea how long they have been there. I’m honestly curious to learn as much about them as I can. They don’t appear aggressive, and I know bees are on the decline. The compost is a large plastic bin which at this time only has grass clippings in it. They are all old, dead grass clippings from last year so are more straw-like in consistency. It has a lid and is closed and dark.
I apologize that the pic is a bit blurry, please let me know if you need a clearer one (That was terrifying, I stayed pretty far away and used a great deal of zoom lol)
Signature: Thank You So Much! Elena

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee

Hi Elena,
This is a native Bumble Bee and we have gotten other reports of Bumble Bees nesting in compost piles, birdhouses and other man-made refuges.  Bumble Bees are not aggressive, but they are capable of stinging.  The bees getting all the publicity lately because of Colony Collapse Disorder are domestic Honey Bees.  Honey Bees are domesticated and not native, however, there are wild hives that are formed when new queens create new colonies in chimneys, hollow trees and other protected locations.

Thank you so much for your prompt reply! Let the research commense!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bumble on a Prickly Pear Cactus Flower (Little Saint Simons Island, GA)
Location: Little Saint Simons Island, Georgia
June 25, 2014 6:12 pm
Hello Bugman,
I was on my honeymoon at the end of May on Little Saint Simons Island, Georgia. What an amazing place! While bicycling to the beach, I noticed this bumble noshing on the prickly pear cactus flowers. I am thinking that it is a queen bumblebee because of its size? Given the diversity of bee species in the US, I have no idea the exact species of this critter but am hoping that you do! By the way, on our way from Long Island New York (where I live) to Little Saint Simons, we stopped at Chincoteague Island, Virginia. I bought your new book at the National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center. A great read!
Thanks,
Laura
Signature: Laura klahre

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee

Dear Laura,
According to BugGuide, there are 46 species of Bumble Bees north of Mexico, and we are not certain of the exact identity of your Bumble Bee.  Thanks for letting us know about finding The Curious World of Bugs at the National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center in Virginia.  We are happy you enjoyed it.

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bumble Bee Assult
Location: Central Michigan
November 27, 2013 6:51 pm
Greetings, I took this picture back in 2005 when out of a mid morning walk through a semi wooded in Michigan. Eastern side of the northern L.P. (Yale if ya can find it on a map). I recently came across the image again and I’m baffled by what is attacking(?) that poor bee. Doesn’t look like a mosquito, but does appear to attacking like one. Wish a had a shot from the other side, but they both took off when I tried moving around them. Wondering if you can help identify the attacker, and clarify if this is an aggressive attack leading to the bees death or just a blood meal feeding like mosquitos do? Thanks
Signature: Glenn

Golden Northern Bumble Bee attacked by possibly Tachinid Fly

Golden Northern Bumble Bee and Syrphid FLy

Hi Glenn,
We believe, but we are not certain, that your bee is a Golden Northern Bumble Bee,
Bombus fervidus, and you can compare your image to photos posted to BugGuide.  We are guessing the fly is a Tachinid Fly, and according to BugGuide:  “Larval stages are parasitoids of other arthropods; hosts include members of 11 insect orders, centipedes, spiders, and scorpions. Some tachinids are very host-specific, others parasitize a wide variety of hosts. The most common hosts are caterpillars. Most tachinids deposit their eggs directly on the body of their host, and it is not uncommon to see caterpillars with several tachinid eggs on them. Upon hatching the larva usually burrows into its host and feeds internally. Full-grown larva leaves the host and pupates nearby. Some tachinids lay their eggs on foliage; the larvae are flattened and are called planidia; they remain on the foliage until they find a suitable host.”  We will check with Eric Eaton to get his opinion on this photo.

Eric Eaton provides some input
Looks like a male bumble bee of some kind, with a syrphid riding on it (Allograpta, Toxomerus, or something else, awkward angle at which to make an identification of either insect).
Eric

Hi,
Thanks for the quick reply, and information. Has a tough shot, had the camera about a foot over my head trying to see the screen at a pretty shallow angle. But it’s had me wondering back then and now. I presume it leads to the death of the bumble bee over time. Seems internal feeding wouldn’t bode well for the host =(
Hope ya had a good Thanksgiving
Glenn

Hi again Glenn,
Eric Eaton believes the fly to be a Flower Fly in the family Syrphidae.  If that is the case, it most likely just alighted on the Bumble Bee and there was no predation involved.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination