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

Subject: Furry large fly?
Location: Washington state
May 18, 2017 6:34 pm
This bug circles people really fast, especially hiking in Seattle area, spring through summer. No interest in dog or horse. Hasn’t tried to bite me just circles like crazy. Really loud buzzing, size of a nickel. Sometimes the body is yellow instead of orange. Super fuzzy body. What attracts it, seems like scented deodorants? Hair shampoo? I just want it to let me be.
Signature: Make it stop!

Bumble Bee Carnage

Dear Make it stop!,
We cannot, but you obviously did.  This appears to be a beneficial native Bumble Bee, perhaps the Hunt’s Bumble Bee that is pictured on BugGuide, and it appears to be very dead.  By your own admission, it does not bother dogs nor horses, and it seems the worst thing you can accuse it of is of buzzing really loud and flying in circles.  We have no choice but to tag this as Unnecessary Carnage and we would strongly urge you to refrain from hiking if you can’t deal with the wildlife.

Facebook Comment from Cindy
This might very well be a troll. Even if it isn’t, yes that’s a horrible thing to do. Poor Bee. 🙁

Facebook Comment from Heather
What kind of a**hole kills a bumblebee?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Huge Yellow Bumble Bee
Location: Gilbert AZ
December 14, 2016 7:56 am
I think this might be a Northern Bumble bee, but am not sure, it is huge, at least one inch long , please let me know if I am correct , I have found this bee in Gilbert AZ
Signature: Frances

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee

Dear Frances,
Our money is on this being a Sonoran Bumble Bee,
Bombus sonorus, which is pictured on BugGuide.

Thank you so much ! Daniel !  I like to know what I have photographed , and that was a quick reply !  Frances

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Busy milkweeds
Location: Columbus, Ohio
July 12, 2016 1:04 pm
So the milkweeds seem to be the water cooler of the insect world. We have monarchs, Japanese beetles, tons of bees (honey and bumbles), and these red mating things! Their flowers are a pretty color and they really have a pleasant and strong scent. I’m rather surprised that these weren’t grown on purpose before the whole monarch decline. Any way, were enjoying the show and hope to get a caterpillar or two.
Signature: Amber

Mating Large Milkweed Bugs

Mating Large Milkweed Bugs

Dear Amber,
There is indeed quite a robust ecosystem surrounding milkweed, which is one of the reasons we created a Milkweed Meadow tag on our site recently.  Monarch Butterflies need milkweed as it is the only food consumed by the Monarch Caterpillars.  Milkweed Borers and Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars are other visitors you might expect in the future.  Your mating Large Milkweed Bugs are another species that depends upon milkweed.  Many pollinators like your Bumble Bees, numerous species of butterflies and many wasps including Tarantula Hawks (mostly in western states), while not dependent upon milkweed as a sole food, are attracted to the fragrant blooms that are laden with nectar.  We will attempt to identify your Bumble Bee species.  

Bumble Bees

Bumble Bees

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee

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