Common Eastern Bumble Bee

Bumble bee on white flower

Genus: Bombus
Species: impatiens

Description: The first reaction most people have when they see a bumble bee is fear. It is painful and unpleasant to get stung by a bee, and some people have allergic reactions to the sting. But the next time you see a bumble bee, remember that although they sting, bumble bees are one of the most beneficial animals in nature and they make our lives better every day. 

The common eastern bumble bee is a pollinator of flowers and numerous fruit and vegetable crops, including tomatoes, blueberries and cucumbers. Bumble bees have fur all over their bodies; these hairs collect and trap pollen which the bees carry from one bloom to another. 

The common eastern bumble bee has black hairs on its head, abdomen and legs. The center of its body, between the first two sets of legs is called the thorax. On the common eastern bumblebee the thorax is yellow.

Range: The common eastern bumble bee can be found throughout the east coast from Maine to Florida and west through Ohio. Look for the common eastern bumble bee flying through the air in spring and summer near gardens, farms and backyards. Their nests are located in woodlands and fields.

  • Fun Fact
    The common eastern bumble bee is so successful at pollinating fruit, that it has been introduced in the western U.S and overseas to help in crop harvests. The success of these programs is still being determined, as well as the harm that can be caused by releasing a non-native species.
Related Articles
  • The Buzz About Bumblebees

    Across North America and beyond, bumblebees are in trouble, but gardeners can help these critical pollinators

  • Being There for Bees

    Native bees face many threats, but gardeners can help these indispensable pollinators

  • On the Trail of Native Bees

    With no paid staff or budget, a federal biologist launches an effort to assess the status of more than 4,000 wild bee species

Get Our E-Newsletter 
Help Wildlife. Symbolically adopt an animal today!
Subscribe to Ranger Rick Magazines today!