Our bees and wasps

These are some of the bumblebees we've seen in our yard. And here are other bees and wasps.

Bumble bee
 ©Janet Allen Bumble bee

There are lots of kinds of bumble bees. I enjoy hearing their buzzing as they work, work, work. They're great pollinators, especially for crops such as tomatoes, which benefit from their special buzz pollination, in which they disengage their wing muscles. I also like to see their pollen basket attached to their legs. We've enjoyed watching them raise their young in our yard, generally in the ground, but once in our garage. The colony never gets very large and starts from scratch each year since only the queens overwinter.

Black and gold bumble bee
(Bombus auricomus)
 ©Janet Allen Black and gold

I used to think that all bumble bees looked alike, but I've slowly begun to distinguish different ones. When I saw this one, I knew that it was different than others I had seen. It turns out that this is an uncommon species, so I'm glad I had a chance to observe it. And I'm glad that we had enough habitat resources that it was able to be in our yard.

Thanks to Bumble Bee Watch, I identified this bee.

Two-spotted bumble bee
(Bombus bimaculatus)
 ©Janet Allen Two-spotted

Thanks to Bumble Bee Watch, I identified this bee.

Common eastern bumble bee
(Bombus impatiens)
 ©Janet Allen Common Eastern bumble bee

Thanks to Bumble Bee Watch, I identified this bee.

Without our bumble bees, we wouldn't have nearly the crop of blueberries that we have!

According to BugGuide.net, its habitats are very general from intensively farmed areas to urban areas. It also remains abundant in the fall after other species have declined. It also notes that "very large numbers visit Solidago [goldenrod] and other composites in the late summer and fall."