Similar to Golden Northern Bumblebee (Bombus fervidus) but larger, this Bumble Bee has black coloring just behind the wings. One to 3 stripes of yellow appear on its abdominal segments. They have hairs all over their yellow and black bodies. The back legs have pollen baskets (pouches that are used to hold pollen grains that are collected from flowers). If a bee is having a good day, you will be able to see the full baskets, holding their orange/yellow pollen.
Bumble bees are industrious pollinators. They forage for pollen all over meadows, parks, open fields, gardens and forests. They use the pollen to make honey, which sustains them in colder months. They also drink flower nectar.
They are beneficial insects, helping to pollinate crops, orchards and garden plants. Sadly, its numbers are declining for a variety of reasons. Habitat loss, pesticide use, pollution and mites are reducing the number of bee colonies in the U.S.. Without these small workers, most plants would need to be pollinated by hand. Birds and wind pollination are usually specific to certain plants and cannot be relied on to do the work of a population of bees.
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