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Bombus borealis (boreal bumble bee)



No information at this time.


Bombus borealis is a long-tongued bee with even, medium-length hair. The cheek or malar space is longer than it is wide. Black stripe between wings, abdominal segments 1-4 yellow, yellow on top and front of head. Sides of thorax with brown hairs. Workers 13-15 mm in length, queens 18-23 mm in length, males 14.5-17.5 mm in length.

Nest Structure

Bombus borealis nests underground and frequently be found close to wooded areas. Males gather outside the nest to look for mates.

Activity Period

Bombus borealis appears later in spring and is typically active from late May to mid-September; males appear mid-July.

Commonly Used Flower

Astragalus, Cirsium, Melilotus, Rubus, Solidago, Trifolium, Vicia (Williams 2014), Epilobium, Medicago, Rubus, Trifolium (Milliron 1989)

Conservation Status

Bombus borealis is an IUCN species of least concern.


Laverty, T. M., & Harder, L. D. (1988). The bumble bees of Eastern Canada. The Canadian Entomologist, 120(11), 965-987.
Milliron, H. (1973). A Monograph of the Western Hemisphere Bumble Bees (HYMENOPTERA: APIDAE; BOMBINAE). II. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada, 105(S89), 81-235. doi:10.4039/entm10589fv
Williams, P., Thorp, R., Richardson, L., & Colla, S. (2014). Bumble bees of North America : An identification guide. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Minnesota Record Map

These data are from the Minnesota Bee Atlas project.