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Golden Northern Bumble Bee (Bombus fervidas)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Golden Northern Bumble Bee, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 5/29/2015; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Golden Northern Bumble Bee  
Picture of Golden-Northern-Bumble-Bee
Picture of Golden-Northern-Bumble-Bee Picture of Golden-Northern-Bumble-Bee

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 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.

Picture of the Golden Northern Bumble Bee
Picture of the Golden Northern Bumble Bee

Golden Northern Bumble Bee Information

Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Common Name: Golden Northern Bumble Bee
Scientific Name: Bombus fervidas
Other Name(s): Bumble Bee

Taxonomy Hierarchy

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

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 10 mm to 23 mm (0.39 inches to 0.897 inches)
Identifying Colors: black; gray; yellow; white
Additional Descriptors: flying, helpful

North American Territorial 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

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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