The Half-black Bumble Bee (Bombus vagans) is a small to medium sized bumblebee with a wide distribution in North America, ranging across Canada and the Northern US. In the central and eastern US, it is found as far south as Georgia. Covering such a wide region, it is not surprising that they feed from a wide variety of plants. Their hairs appear a bit shaggier than other bumble bees and generally have a black circle / patch in the middle of the thorax. The “half-black” name refers to the coloration of their abdomen, with the first two segments being yellow with the rest being black. Both queens and males are active well into October. As pictured here, males can be easily identified by the yellow hairs / beard in the middle of their face.
Size: Queens (.6 to .9” long) / Males and Workers (.4 to .5” long)
Photo by: Glenn Marangelo on 10/2/21 in Missoula, MT