The Golden Northern Bumble Bee features an all-black head and dark wings. A black band runs across the mostly yellow thorax and the abdomen is nearly all yellow with the exception of the very tip, which is black. White coloring is also present to the keen observer.
The Golden Northern Bumble Bee is a relatively large species and includes both worker and drone bees along with a queen bee in their hive structure. All members of the hive die in winter except for the queen. She alone emerges in the spring and begins building brood cells and laying eggs. This queen will die at the end of the autumn and one of her daughters, a new queen, will take over. Other mated daughters will overwinter and establish new hives in the spring.
Hives are built in the ground. Cells are made of beeswax and are built to store eggs. Larvae hatch in the cells and eat the honey that was made by the adults and stored for them.
Adults are extremely good pollinators and are a benefit to have around in the garden. They have pollen baskets (open pouches) on their hindlegs for collecting pollen grains that will eventually become honey, though it is not the same kind of honey that is made by honeybees and consumed by humans. Adult Golden Northern Bumble Bees drink flower nectar and eat from their supply of honey.
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