Bombus impatiens

Common Eastern Bumblebee
Bombus impatiens

 

Common Eastern Bumblebee Bombus impatiens worker
Common Eastern Bumblebee Bombus impatiens worker on Culver’s Root, Aug 01, 2008. Wheatley, Ontario.
Common Eastern Bumblebee Bombus impatiens queen early
Common Eastern Bumblebee Bombus impatiens queen on Globe flower very early date Mar 10, 2017. Wheatley, Ontario.
Common Eastern Bumblebee Bombus impatiens male
Common Eastern Bumblebee Bombus impatiens male on Aster Oct 06, 2013. Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Queen and Worker:
Head: Mostly black hair with some yellow on top of head. Face is shiny. Head is square.
Thorax: Yellow with black circle at centre which can be large or small. Thorax sides yellow.
Legs: Entirely black.
Abdomen: 1st segment yellow, sometimes with lower centre of stripe indented. Other segments black, may have faint line of fringe on lower margin of each segment.

Male:
Head: Face mostly with yellow hair. Top of head yellow hair. Long antenna.
Thorax: All yellow with centre black.
Legs: Yellow fringe mixed with some black on thigh (femur). Hind shin is very slender and shiny with long black, but sparse fringe. Hind legs are long.
Abdomen: 1st abdominal segment is yellow. Yellow hairs at side edges of underside.

Size: Queen 20 to 21 mm. Workers 9 to 17.5 mm. Males 12.5 to 16 mm.

Flight Time: April to October.

Habitat: Woodlands and forest edges, preferring sandy areas.

Food: Generalist feeder of nectar and pollen from a wide variety of flowers.

Life Cycle: Bombus impatiens typically chooses nest sites below ground in preexisting holes, often using discarded rodent nests. Nest can be many feet deep. Bombus impatiens stores pollen in old cocoons or cells. Up to 450 workers in a nest.
Parasitized by the Lemon Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus citrinus. Vector for the new (2000) Pepino mosaic virus in greenhouse tomatoes.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park, Ojibway Prairies. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Widespread across Ontario and Michigan.