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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects
Tricoloured Bumble Bee (Bombus ternarius)
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)
Bombus ternarius on Solidago canadensis, taken in Algonquin Provincial Park
Photograph by Rrburke. Some rights reserved. (view image details)
TRICOLOURED BUMBLE BEE FACTSDescription
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.
Red-Tailed Bumble Bee, Orange-belted Bumblebee
queen growing to about 18mm and workers to about 13mm
grassland, parks and gardens
adult bees feed on nectar, larvae feed on pollen
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.
Bombus ternarius is found in Canada and eastern parts of the United States as far south as Georgia.
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)