Due to their large size and dense hair covering their entire body, bumble bees can fly and pollinate in cooler temperatures and carry more pollen than other bees. They are also active the entire length of Wisconsin’s growing season, from April to October.
Bumble bees are social bees, living in underground colonies with anywhere from 50 to 500 individuals.
- Bumble bees are fully covered in dense hairs.
- Each species has a different pattern of yellow and black hair (some species have an orange-brown patch).
If you would like to become an expert in identifying Wisconsin’s 20 bumble bee species, check out this online guide:
Where they carry pollen
Bumble bees carry pollen in bright, tight yellow pollen sacs (corbiculae) stored on their hind legs. Not all foraging bumble bees will be gathering pollen, but they stand out when they do.