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Insect Identification

Golden Northern Bumble Bee - (Bombus fervidas)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/18/2014

The industrious Golden Northern Bumble Bee is a fuzzy, buzzing, picture-perfect, honey-making machine.


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 as one of her daughters, a new queen, will take over. Other mated daughters will establish new hives.

Hives are built in the ground. Cells are made of beeswax and are built to store eggs. Larvae hatch in the cells and eat honey that was made and stored for them.

Adults drink flower nectar and eat honey. They 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 the pollen that will eventually become honey.

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Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Common name: Golden Northern Bumble Bee
Scientific Name: Bombus fervidas
Other Names: Bumble Bee

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Hymenoptera
      Family: Apidae
       Genus: Bombus
        Species: fervidas

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

Identifying Colors: black; gray; yellow; white

General Description: flying, helpful

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; British Columbia; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico

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

NOTE: Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (insect bites, etc...). Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. Email corrections / Comments to InsectIdentification at Gmail dot com.
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