Yellow-Faced Bumble Bee
Temperate areas such as open meadows, grasslands, and urban environments
Southern parts of Canada down the west coast of the United States, Washington, Oregon, and California, and into northern Mexico
Least Concern (IUCN Red List)
This species is
to the Truckee Meadows.
Yellow-faced bumble bees are large social bees. These bees usually nest underground with others of their kind, but their nest sizes are much smaller than honey bee hives (only numbering several hundred adults maximum). These bees are mostly black with yellow coloration on their face and abdomen. Adults can grow to roughly 1 inch long, and are about the size of a quarter. The yellow-faced bumble bee looks very fuzzy and is covered in hairs, these hairs help the bee to sense the environment around it and to collect pollen. These bumble bees feed on nectar and pollen from flowers. While collecting food, pollen from the flower sticks to the bee, when the bumble bee goes to feed on the next flower it delivers the pollen as well. The yellow-faced bumble bee and other pollinating insects play an important role keeping plants in the ecosystem healthy and stable.
Although they are very slow and docile, bumble-bees can sting you more than once. Typically, if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone.
The yellow-faced bumble bee does a better job at pollinating agriculture than the methods that humans use.
Insects that pollinate are very important to the ecosystem! Think twice before you squash a ‘bug’.
Yellow-faced bumble bees tend to live in abandoned holes made by other critters, gaps in walls, tree stumps and piles of rocks. The next time you’re in your garden look for these busy bees!
IUCN Red List, Vosnesensky Bumble Bee, https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/44938235/46440326
Inaturalist.ca, Yellow-faced Bumble Bee, https://inaturalist.ca/taxa/57689-Bombus-vosnesenskii
Las Pilitas Nursery, Bombus vosnesenskii, 2012, https://www.laspilitas.com/insects/bombus/Bombus-vosnesenskii.html
Image: Kevin Cole, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bombus_vosnesenkii.jpg, license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en, cropped from original.
Kevin Livingstone (research & content)
Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)