Brown Belted Bumble Bee

Worker brown belted bumble bee foraging on white prairie clover.

Bombus griseocollis

Common name:
Brown-belted bumble bee


Likely the third most common of Wisconsin bumble bee species, B. griseocollis gets its name from the thin belt of red/brown hair on its second abdominal segment. The brown-belted bumble bee has one of the largest ranges of any US bumble bees, spanning coast-to-coast.

Physical Appearance

Hair short and even. Thorax mostly yellow, with a circular patch of all black hairs between the base of the wings. First abdominal segment fully yellow, with workers typically having a brown or red patch of hair forming a crescent on segment 2. Queens occasionally have this coloration, but also often have an entirely yellow second abdominal segment. Males with similar coloration to workers, but with a yellow hair patch on the front of the face (similar to B. impatiens). Males also lack corbiculae, or the flattened midleg of the hind leg used for transporting pollen.

Color Morphs




Activity Period

Typical colony life cycle, with queens emerging in late spring, and peak worker number in July. New queens and drones can be found from late June to September.


The brown-belted bumble bee can be found throughout Wisconsin. Fun fact: males often search highlands for mates, and have been found at the top of the Empire State Building (102 stories!).

Conservation Status

Populations remain stable – B. griseocollis seems able to do well in a variety of habitats, including highly urbanized landscapes.

Preferred flowers

Cirsium (Thistle)

Asclepias (Milkweed)

Helianthus (Sunflowers)

Can be confused with...

Bombus bimaculatus

Bombus affinis

Bombus vagans