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

Subject:  Fuzzy Buzzy Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  23454 – Va Beach, VA
Date: 08/18/2019
Time: 05:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve noticed a new pollinator in our gardens this summer but don’t recognize the species.  I’m estimating 20-25MM in length, fairly robust, but not “chunky” like a bumble bee.  I saved one in our pool and grabbed a couple closeups of their uniquely colored eyes.  He/she flew away safely  :-]
How you want your letter signed:  W/ appreciation

Perplexing Bumble Bee

Based on this BugGuide image, we believe this is a Perplexing Bumble Bee, Bombus perplexus.  Additional images and information can be found on Discover Life.

Thank you for the response.  I see many similarities, however the size, shape, and coloring of the eyes do not correspond.  Head scratcher.  :-]

Ed Note:  See Eastern Carpenter Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Adorable bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Long Beach, California
Date: 08/16/2019
Time: 02:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman! This cute fat fuzzy little friend and her buddies are frequent guests in my garden. My understanding is that only females have pollen baskets. Do they also distinguish her as a bumblebee, rather than a carpenter bee? If so, can you tell what kind of bumblebee she is? She’s taking her job very seriously and she is welcome in my yard.
How you want your letter signed:  Rachel L

Sonoran Bumble Bee

Dear Rachel,
We wish we had your luck.  Daniel hasn’t seen a Bumble Bee in the WTB? garden for quite some time, despite there being numerous other native pollinators.  We believe based on images posted to The Natural History of Orange County that is is a Sonoran Bumble Bee,
Bombus sonorus.  According to Accent on Natural Landscaping:  “Male bees do not actively collect pollen, only the queen and worker bumblebees do. They transfer the pollen they collect to the sacs or baskets on their hind legs to make it easier to transport back to the hive. Bumblebee pollen sacs or baskets are known as corbicula.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Robbery fly
Geographic location of the bug:  location: GPS@43°47’39″N 15°40’51″E (19.0 m)
Date: 07/18/2019
Time: 03:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This about 3 cm bug was sucking a brombee in my garden. I have s lot if brombees in my lavender and ‘stockroses’. It had yellow-black legs with hairs. Long body with yellow-brown stripes and very long brownies wings folded onbthe back.
How you want your letter signed:  Wilma

Robber Fly eats Bumble Bee

Dear Wilma,
Based on the GPS coordinates your provided, Google Maps places this sighting in Croatia.  When we searched the internet for Croatian Robber Flies, we located this FlickR posting of 
Pogonosoma maroccanum which appears very similar to your individual.

Robber Fly eats Bumble Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Orange and black bee presume
Geographic location of the bug:  Uk Dewsbury wf12ort
Date: 09/16/2018
Time: 07:19 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi I opened my door this morning to see a big black and Orange bee I think but not supposed to be in the UK  never seen this in all my 25 years
How you want your letter signed:  T.walker

Red Tailed Bumble Bee

Dear T.walker,
This Bumble Bee is so distinctive, we quickly found this Art by Tereska site with an illustration that includes the Red Tailed Bumble Bee,
Bombus lapidarius.  According to Bumblebee.org, it:  “is probably the most easily recognised species with its black body and bright orange tail.”  According to Nature Spot:  “Fairly common in Britain and have expanded northwards to include Scotland.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle bee?!
Geographic location of the bug:  Lincoln Nebraska
Date: 08/22/2018
Time: 09:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey bugman!
Question! May be an easy one but I’ve never seen anything like this before. I was sitting on my patio when this fella flew up. Looks like pollen maybe on the hind leg? It looks like a beetle and a bee but reminded me of a spider the way it sat and was quick moving like a startled spider?!
Thanks for the help!
How you want your letter signed:  Curious

Common Eastern Bumble Bee

Dear Curious,
As you can see from this BugGuide image, this is a Common Eastern Bumble Bee.  Perhaps due to pesticides, or habitat loss, or some other reason, populations of native and Honey Bees are on the decline, making these once very common and easily recognized insects much less familiar to the casual observer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Don’t think it’s Bombus vosnesenskii, so which bumbler is it?
Geographic location of the bug:  Silverdale, WA
Date: 07/12/2018
Time: 12:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I originally thought this was Bombus vosnesenskii (Yellow-Faced bumble bee), but all photos representing that particular species shows only one  yellow segment on the abdomen, whereas the one I took the photograph of, shows two.
I tried researching by location and bee color/appearance on discoverlife.org‘s bee identification, but none seem to match. Based upon the appearance of pollen baskets and sparse hairs on the hind legs, I am pretty sure it’s a true bumble been (not a Cuckoo) and a female.
If you are able to help, I’d love your assistance!
Thanks in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  Bug aficionado

Yellow Faced Bumble Bee

Dear Bug Aficionado,
When we first looked at your images, we too began trying to match to BugGuide images of a Bumble Bee with a yellow face as well as two abdominal stripes, but upon reviewing your images, we believe the second yellow band we thought we observed on one of your images is an optical illusion, part of the clover blossom rather than the Bee.  None of your images clearly shows a second yellow band.  Perhaps you have additional images that show the markings on the abdomen.  Since we cannot clearly see a second band, we are going to call this a Yellow Faced Bumble Bee as the yellow face as well as other markings, including the half black thorax, agree with that species.  Also, the Yellow Faced Bumble Bee pictured on Hilltromper does appear to show a second abdominal stripe.  The Arboretum Foundation page entitled Getting to Know Our Northwest Bees identifies four species including the Yellow Faced Bumble Bee.

Yellow Faced Bumble Bee

I think you are right about the optical illusion! I zoomed in on the photo, and, sure enough, what I thought was a second yellow abdominal segment is actually one of the clover head’s flowers!
Thanks so much for your help! Trying to ID this fuzzy-butt was driving me bonkers!
Also, thank you for correcting the ID of my blue butterfly from Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) to Pacific Azure (Celastrina echo). They both look very much alike, and despite butterfliesandmoths.org having a verified sighting of C. ladon in Oregon (which is what led me to my ID- I simply didn’t research enough), it is quite likely that they, too, mis-identified the specimen.
-Bug aficionado

Yellow Faced Bumble Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination