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.