The industrious Golden Northern Bumble Bee is a fuzzy, buzzing, picture-perfect, honey-making machine.
The Golden Northern Bumble Bee is a hairy insect that 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 immediately sets out to build brood cells and lay eggs in them. 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 their own new hives in the spring.
Adults are extremely good pollinators and are a real 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 widely-consumed honey that is made by honeybees. Unlike smaller Honeybees, Golden Northern Bumble Bees do not store gallons of honey for sustenance through the winter and into the next spring, so the small amount they make it not worth trying to harvest. Adult Golden Northern Bumble Bees drink flower nectar and eat from their supply of honey as they make it. The Golden Northern Bumble Bee hive is built in the ground, not in trees or other elevated areas. Cells are made of beeswax and are built to store eggs. Larvae hatch inside the cells and eat honey that was made by the adults and stored just for them.
Scientific Name: Bombus fervidas
Other Name(s): Bumble Bee
Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 23mm (0.39in to 0.90in)
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Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees and Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.