Common Eastern Bumble Bee

Media
Male common eastern bumble bee on a New World aster
Scientific Name
Bombus impatiens
Family
Apidae (cuckoo, carpenter, digger, bumble, and honey bees) in the order Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps)
Description
The common eastern bumble bee is widespread in the eastern United States. It is widely used in greenhouses as a pollinator and has unusually large colonies (for a bumble bee species). Look for them visiting goldenrods and asters in late summer.

Like other species of bumble bees, they are large fuzzy or hairy bees. Bumble bees (genus Bombus) always have some fuzz on the abdomen. Females have pollen baskets on the last pair of legs.

At least six species of bumble bees occur in Missouri. Entomologists and dedicated amateurs use details of wing venation and other structural fine points to identify the different species in this genus.

Learn more about bumble bees and other apid bees (family Apidae) on their family page.

Common Name Synonyms
Common Eastern Bumblebee
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Similar Species
About Land Invertebrates in Missouri
Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and arthropods. Arthropods—invertebrates with “jointed legs” — are a group of invertebrates that includes crayfish, shrimp, millipedes, centipedes, mites, spiders, and insects. There may be as many as 10 million species of insects alive on earth today, and they probably constitute more than 90 percent all animal species.