Related pages N. American cuckoo bumblebees - Is it a bumblebee? - Looks like a bumblebee - Other bees1, 2
I have quoted the tongue lengths as this can determine which flowers the bumblebee will gather nectar from, for more see the tongue page. I have also quoted body lengths. This information comes from a number sources, and really should be used as a rough guide. Early workers can be much smaller than later workers, also the methods used for measuring vary - some sources use dead bees and others live bees.
Range: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, west to British Columbia, south to California, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Vermont, Maine, Mexico. It is generally found foraging close to woods, parks and gardens. Nest are found on the surface or above ground.
This is a short-tongued species, with a variable hair colour as you can see from the drawings above and below. The hair is short and even. Body lengths in mm, queen 17 - 18, worker 9 - 13, male 11 - 15.
Range: Washington, Oregon, and coastal areas in California
A medium to long tongue species.
Body lengths, Queen 16 - 18 mm, Worker 11 - 13 mm, Male 11 - 13 mm.
Hair can be shaggy.
Nests under and above ground.
Bombus bifarius nearticus, Bombus bifaris bifaris
Range: Alaska to Yukon south to California and Utah. Found in desert, tundra, taiga, great plains on open grassy areas. Also found in parks gardens chaparral and shrubby areas as well as mountain meadows. Nests are usually underground, but occasionally can be found on the surface.
Medium length tongue. Body lengths queen 15 - 19, worker 8 - 14, male 8 - 13 mm. Hair is short and even.
Range: Arctic Alaska and Canada, Sierra Nevada and White Mountains, Truchas Peak in New Mexico, also in Arctic Europe and Asia. Found in mountains, tundra and taiga in open areas usually above the tree line.
Long tongued species. Body lengths, queen 19 - 21, worker 11 - 19, male 13 - 17 mm. Hair is long and even. Nests underground.
Bombus polaris polaris
Range: Arctic Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Arctic Eurasia, in tundra and taiga.
Medium tongue length. Hair is long and uneven. Body lengths, queen 18 - 22, worker 10 - 16, male 14 - 16 mm. Nests underground.
Range: Oregon, California, Nevada
Range: Alaska south to California, Idaho, Colorado, in open grassy areas, parks, gardens, chaparral, and mountain meadows.
Medium tongue length. Hair short and even. Nest both under and above ground. Queens tend to start their nests relatively early.
Body lengths in mm, queen 16 - 19, worker 10 - 16, male 11 - 14.
Range: Southern Canada from Nova Scotia to Alberta, Northern USA from Maine to New Jersey west to North Dakota and South Dakota. Found in and around woodlands.
Long-tongued species, hair length medium and even. Body lengths in mm, queen 18 - 22, worker 13 - 15, male 14 - 16.
Nests underground. Males gather outside the nest entrance to await the emergence of young queens for mating.
Bombus fervidus fervidus
Range: Quebec and New Brunswick, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, south to Georgia, west to British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California and Mexico. Found in grassland, farm land parks and gardens. Usually nests above ground, but occasionally underground. Males gather around the nest entrance waiting for the emergence of young queens for mating. Can be aggressive.
Long tongued species, hair length is medium and even. Body lengths in mm queen 18 - 21, worker 11 - 17, male 13 - 16.
Bombus appositus, White-shouldered bumblebee
Range: British Columbia east to Saskatchewan, south to New Mexico, Wyoming, Arizona and California. It is found in open meadows.
This bumblebee has a long tongue, and its hair is medium length and even. Body lengths in mm, queen 20 - 24, worker 11 - 18, male 10 - 16. Males gather around the nest entrance to mate with newly emerged queens. It nests underground.
Range: Alaska east to Newfoundland, south through the mountains (Cascades, Sierra Nevada, Rockies), California, Utah, New Mexico. In open grassy areas in high forest, tundra or taiga at 2400 - 4000 m.
Medium tongue length. Hair is long and uneven. Body length in millimetres, queen 15 - 17, worker 10 - 14, male 11 - 14. Mostly nests underground, but can nest on the surface.
Range: British Columbia, Alberta south to California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico. Found in high desert scrub land.
Medium tongue length. Hair short and even. Body lengths in mm. queen, 19 - 20, worker 11 - 14, male 9 - 13. Nests underground.
Bombus flavifrons dimidiatus and Bombus flavifrons flavifrons
Range: Southern British Columbia to California. Found from sea level up to 2700 m, in open grassy prairies, mountain meadows, and northern forests.
The queen and workers have a long tongue. The hair length is medium and uneven. Body lengths in mm, queen 16 - 18, worker 10 - 13, male 10 - 14.
Nests mainly underground, but there are reports of surface nests.
Range: Alaska south to California, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming. On open grassy prairies and mountain meadows.
Body lengths in mm, queen 15 - 20, worker 9 - 14, male 9 - 14. The hair is long, shaggy and uneven. Nests underground.
Range: British Columbia, Alberta south to California, Arizona, New Mexico. Ranges from sea level up to 3500 metres or more on open grassy areas and mountain meadows.
Has a medium to long tongue. Body lengths in mm queen 16 - 18, worker 10 - 13, male 12 - 14. The hair is short and even. Nests underground.
Range: Alaska south to California, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, in mountains, tundra and taiga, in open and shrubby areas. Medium tongue length. Body lengths in mm, queen 15 - 17, worker 10 - 14, male 11 - 14. Nests above, below and on the ground surface.
Range: this northern European species has recently (2002) been recorded in Alaska. It is found in tundra where it nests underground.
It has a long tongue, hair is medium length and even. Body lengths in mm, queen 19, worker 12. Males gather around the nest entrance waiting to mate with newly emerging queens.
Range: westwards from the southern shores of Hudson Bay to Alaska. Found in tundra and taiga. Medium length tongue, hair long. Body lengths, queen 16, worker 10 - 11, male 10 - 12 mm. Nests underground. Also found in northern Europe.