Bumble Bee

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.”

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