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Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)


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

 Updated: 2/17/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The ubiquitous Common Eastern Bumble Bee is a busy, buzzing pollinator that helps gardens bloom and crops flourish.



Fuzzy and loud, the Common Eastern Bumble Bee is an industrious workhorse. Like other bumble bees, it is covered in hairs. This species sports a black head and a yellow hairs on its thorax. A shiny black bald spot in the center is typical. The abdomen has a single band of yellow hairs near the waist. The rest of it is covered in black, velvety hairs on each segment.

The Common Eastern Bumble Bee is the most often seen bumble bee in North America. It flies from flower to flower, drinking nectar and collecting pollen. The pollen grains get inadvertently dusted onto the body of the bee. As a bee moves deeper into various flowers, pollen grains fall onto flower pistils (female parts of the flower) and pollination occurs. Pollen grains are deliberately collected by the bumble bee and placed into special pouches on its legs called pollen baskets. Once full, the Common Eastern Bumble Bee will return to its colony and deliver the pollen. The pollen is then taken to special cells to feed larvae.

This social bee form large colonies. It is able to fly at higher, colder altitudes compared to other kinds of bumble bees. Like all insects, cold temperatures slow them down, but they are hardy insects and remain active later into autumn than other species. Bumble bees are unable to survive cold winters, however, and all but the young, future queens die. In the spring, these young queens will lay eggs and begin a new colony of bees.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Apidae
          Genus: Bombus
            Species: impatiens
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Bombus impatiens
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 21mm (0.35in to 0.82in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, yellow
Descriptors: fuzzy, hairy, pollen, baskets, flying, helpful
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
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.