Bombus griseocollis

Bombus griseocollis

Bombus griseocollis (the brown-belted bumble bee)

Bombus griseocollis. Logan County, Illinois, 13 July.

Status in Illinois


Technical description (from Medler and Carney 1963)

Queen: Face and vertex with hairs black, a few yellow hairs intermixed on the vertex and about the bases of the antennae. Dorsum of thorax entirely covered with rather short, coarse yellow hairs except for a small spot of black hairs on the disc; pleura covered with yellow hairs to bases of the legs; scutellum entirely yellow. Abdomen with tergite 1 yellow; tergite 2 transversely banded basally with fringes of yellow hairs, posteriorly with black hairs, the black widest on each side; tergites 3 to 6 black; sternites with hairs black. Legs with hairs black; corbicular fringes black.
Worker: Marked as the queen, but tergite 2 may be almost entirely covered with yellow-brown hairs.
Male: Compound eyes very large, occupying two-thirs of the width of the head. Vertex and face with numerous yellow hairs; thorax yellow except for a spot on the disc with black hairs; pleura entirely yellow; abdomen with tergite 1 yellow; tergite 2 yellow-brown and black, the black widest at the sides; remainder of the tergites black; sternites black. Legs with fringes of yellow hairs on the posterior margins of the femora. VARIATION: This species varies little. The crescent-shaped band of yellow or yellow-brown hairs on abdominal tergite 2 may vary in width, but if the band is wide, some black hairs usually persist along the posterio-median margin.



Nesting occurs in dry situations above the ground. Colonies are usually small (fewer than 50 workers). Workers are very aggressive in defense of the colony.

Flight periods

Queens: . Workers: . Males: .

Main flower preferences

Queen: especially attracted to legumes, including vetch, red clover, lupine, and prairie legume; workers: red clover, sweet clover; males: goldenrod, yellow daisy, blackeyed Susan, blazing star.

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