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

help with bees
I took these pictures of some kind of bees that ruined several of my plants last summer. I think one must be the queen, judging from the relative sizes. They burrow large caverns under clumps of plants (especially thyme) and the plant above dies. Do you know of any way to discourage them this year? By the way, we live in NE Pennsylvania.

These are Bumble Bees and they do make underground chambers. We are surprised to hear that their little hive has killed your plants. we have no suggestions.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

black & yellow winged . . . ???
I found this little guy [girl?] outside on the walk. Seems to be ailing or injured as it has barely moved in a day. Besides the yellow on the head, it has a yellow stripe across his butt. Interesting fuzzy legs that have little hooked ends.
Mike Armstrong
San Diego area

Hi Mike,
This is a Yellow Faced Bumble Bee, Bombus vosnesenskii. BugGuide has some additional photos, but not much information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

About your site
Hello! I just wanted to let you know that you have the most helpful and organized site I have ever been on. I’ve spent a good 20 mins. looking at other websites attempting to find out what kind of spider I had next to my back door. After a few moments on your site I found her (or him), turns out she is a Orb Weaver, she is very interesting to watch. While on a field trip for biology I found a very unsual caterpiller and again, only a few moments and I found he was a White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpiller. I will be using your regularly since I am always finding interesting bugs. I am also sending a pic of the Orb Weaver munching on a large bumblebee. Enjoy, Thanks again!!!
~Caitlin of NJ

Hi Caitlin,
Thanks for your thoughtful letter. We do get our share of letters telling us how difficult our site is to navigate and offering us suggestions on how to make it better, so it is nice to hear you call it organized. Organization is really not our strong feature. Your Araneus Orb Weaver is a magnificent specimen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mt Washington, Los Angeles, CA
July 2, 2006
Since our internet access here at the What’s That Bug? offices is so pokey because Earthlink has downgraded us to dialup, we decided to catch up on some gardening. First we pulled out the swiss chard that had gone to seed and then decided to heat up some coffee. A large dark flying shape caught our eye in the front yard. It landed on the zucchini. Closer inspection revealed this pair of mating Yellow Faced Bumble Bees,
Bombus vosnesenkii. They have been going at it for about 15 minutes and allowed us to make use of our photographic training by capturing the action digitally.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Help identify this nest of bees
Hi Bugman!
I am so grateful I found this site and I am hoping you can identify this nest of bees which have decided to take over a bird house in our back yard. Are they dangerous? Are they endangered? I hope you can help, they make me a little nervous!
Thanx a lot!
Linda Robb

Hi Linda,
Because we are feeling cantankerous, we must begin by yelling at you. Where are you???????? Insect identification is difficult enough when location is known. If we didn’t love your photo, which is awesome, we would have simply hit the delete key and moved to a letter with more substance. If you are in the eastern U.S. or Canada, these are Red-Tailed Bumble Bees, Bombus ternarius. According to our Audubon Guide: “In early spring queen enters opening in soil to build honeypots and brood cells. Small workers develop first, visit flowers for nectar, and construct new brood cells. With warmer weather, larger adults develop. Only young mated females overwinter.” With the current state of the world, all living things are endangered but your native bees are not rare. They are not aggressive, but you should not disturb their nest or they will sting repeatedly. Please let them live in their awesome new home.

Sorry Bugman,
I live in Portland, Oregon. Thanks for identifing our bees. I have a few more awesome photos of them if you want me to send them to you. I have never seen a bee that looked like that before. They swarm around the front of the bird house in the middle of the afternoon when it is hot. It looks like they have some kind of a cone just inside the opening of the house. So sorry I didn’t give you more information in the beginning, it is the first time I wrote to someone about them! Best Regards,
Linda Robb

Update (05/01/2006)
Eric Eaton provided us with some assistance on this one: ” Ok, the bumblebees should be Bombus melanopygus, if my memory serves. We called them red-tailed bumblebees when I lived in Portland. That is a neat shot, one we could use on Bugguide because we don’t have that species yet.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bumble Bee Pic
Here’s a cute bumble bee picture for you. I don’t know what this flower is in my backyard but it attracts so many different bugs & I try to snap pics of them when I can. You’ve previously posted a cranefly pic I took on one of these flowers too. Thx, & again, your site is real cool.

Hi Again Cindy,
We can’t believe we have not had a good Bumble Bee photo on our site until your submission.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination