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  • American Bumble Bee - (Bombus pennsylvanicus)

    American Bumble Bee - (Bombus pennsylvanicus)

    The yellow and black American Bumble Bee is a classic summertime friend doing more good for plants than harm to people.


    Picture of American Bumble Bee


    Staff Writer (10/20/2014): 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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    Details of the:
    American Bumble Bee


    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: American Bumble Bee
    Scientific Name: Bombus pennsylvanicus
    Other Names: Bumble Bee

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hymenoptera
          Family: Apidea
           Genus: Bombus
            Species: pennsylvanicus

    Size (Adult, Length): 10mm to 23mm (0.39in to 0.91in)

    Identifying Colors: black; yellow

    Additional Descriptors: stinger, fuzzy, hairy, furry, striped, stinging, flying


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming;Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.