Northern Amber Bumble Bee

Bombus borealis

Common name:
Northern amber bumble bee


A beautiful, nearly all yellow bumble bee found throughout Wisconsin. This northern-distrubted species is a sports a long tongue length, making long-corolla flowers ideal for it.

Physical Appearance

Hair medium and even. Thorax top yellow, with black sides, and a widened black band between the wings. All but last abdominal segment yellow, typically a darker yellow to amber hue (contrast to B. fervidus). Yellow patch of hairs on face. Color patterns similar between sexes (worker vs, drone) and castes (queen vs. worker). Males also lack corbiculae, or the flattened midleg of the hind leg used for transporting pollen.

Color Morphs




Activity Period

Late May to September, with workers reaching peak abundance in late July to early August. New queens an drones from late July to September.


Similar to B. griseocollis. Queens emerge in late spring (typically early May), with peak worker numbers in July and August. New queens and drones present from July to September.

Conservation Status

Generally stable, however additional data on contemporary distribution, abundance, and ecology is needed.

Preferred Flowers




Can be confused with...

B. fervidus

B. pensylvanicus (male)

B. perplexus (male)