BeeSpotter

Bombus griseocollis

Bombus griseocollis

Bombus griseocollis (the brown-belted bumble bee)

Bombus griseocollis. Logan County, Illinois, 13 July.

Status in Illinois

Common.

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.

Diagnosis

Habits

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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