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Golden Northern Bumble Bee (Bombus fervidas)


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

 Updated: 1/3/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




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.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Apidae
          Genus: Bombus
            Species: fervidas
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Bombus fervidas
Other Name(s): Bumble Bee
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 23mm (0.39in to 0.90in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; gray; yellow; white
Descriptors: flying, helpful
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
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
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
Note: 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 as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of both a bee and an ant insect
1
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
2
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
3
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
5
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.