American Bumble Bee

Image © dvoribird (

Bombus pensylvanicus

Common name:
American bumble bee


This lovely bee can be found throughout the US East, and is a rather handsome specimen!  Their super dark wings and short, even hair gives them a more formal appearance.

Physical Appearance

Hair length short and even. Thorax with yellow band(s), typically anterior.  First abdominal segment often yellow in middle.  Second and third abdominal segments entirely yellow, with remainder of tail black.  Dark wings.  Hair on top of the head always black.  Males typically with an entirely yellow abdomen.  Queens are typically large, similar in size to B. auricomus.

Color Morphs




Activity Period

Queens emerge late, and colonies last well into August. Peak worker numbers in late July, with new queens and drones present from late July to September.


Throughout Wisconsin, but typically associated with more open habitats south of the North woods.  Current records of this species in Wisconsin are rare.

Conservation Status

This is one of the species in sharp decline across the Midwest.  Few current records are available, highlighting the need for more thorough modern surveys.

Preferred flowers




Can be confused with...

Bombus terricola

Bombus auricomus