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 Tricoloured Bumble Bee (Bombus ternarius)




Tricoloured Bumble Bee | Bombus ternarius photo
Orange-belted Bumble Bee (Bombus ternarius), Mer Bleue Conservation Area, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Photograph by D. Gordon E. Robertson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Tricoloured Bumble Bee | Bombus ternarius photo
Bombus ternarius on Solidago canadensis, taken in Algonquin Provincial Park

Photograph by Rrburke. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

TRICOLOURED BUMBLE BEE FACTS

Description
The Orange-tailed bumble bee has a black head, black and yellow thorax, and broad orange central band on the abdomen (segments 2 and 3), with some yellow at each end (segments 1 and 4). It is similar in appearance to Bombus huntii (Hunt's Bumble bee) from the western United States. The bee is relatively small with queen growing to about 18mm. The bees produce honey, but not in large quantities like honey bees. These social bees live in colonies, and the nest is usually underground. A new nest is built each season, with the queen being the only bee to survive the winter and start a new colony in spring.

Other Names
Red-Tailed Bumble Bee, Orange-belted Bumblebee

Size
queen growing to about 18mm and workers to about 13mm

Environment
grassland, parks and gardens

Food
adult bees feed on nectar, larvae feed on pollen

Breeding
The queen bee lays eggs inside the nest. The eggs hatch into larvae which feed inside the nest until they pupate and emerge as adult bees.

Range
Bombus ternarius is found in Canada and eastern parts of the United States as far south as Georgia.

Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Apidae
Genus:Bombus
Species:ternarius
Common Name:Tricoloured Bumble Bee


Relatives in same Genus
  Golden northern bumble bee (B. fervidus)
  Hunt's Bumble bee (B. huntii)
  Common Eastern Bumble Bee (B. impatiens)
  Nevada Bumblebee (B. nevadensis)