Yellow-faced bumblebee

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Yellow-faced bumblebee
Bombus vosnesenkii.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Apidae
Genus: Bombus
Subgenus: Pyrobombus
Species: B. vosnesenskii
Binomial name
Bombus vosnesenskii
Radoszkowski, 1862
Bombus vosnesenskii distribution.svg
The range of Bombus vosnesenskii.

The yellow-faced bumblebee (Bombus vosnesenskii) is a species of bumblebee native to the west coast of North America, where it distributed from British Columbia to Baja California.[1] This species is common in its range and can be found in urban and agricultural areas.[1]


In this species, the queen is 14 to 19 mm long, and the workers and males are up to 14 mm long.[2] It is characterized by the yellow coloration of the head pile, the mostly black thorax and abdomen, a single yellow thoracic stripe on the lower abdomen, and blackish wings.[3]


The overwintering queen first appears during spring and establishes underground colonies. After laying her first brood, she incubates the cluster until the adults emerge. The fuel for their thermoregulation during incubation is derived from nectar and pollen, and honey between foraging trips.[4]


Yellow-faced bumblebees, like most bumblebees, use thermoregulation to maintain stable body temperatures several degrees above the ambient temperature. At rest, bumblebees have temperatures close to ambient temperature. To generate power for flight, bumblebees need to raise the temperature of the flight muscles to above 30 °C (86 °F).[5] In B. vosnesenskii, heat is transferred from the thorax to the abdomen by changes in hemolymph flow in the petiole, the narrow region between the abdomen and thorax. At low ambient temperature, the hemolymph flows from the thorax and abdomen simultaneously. As a result, the countercurrent exchange of heat in the petiole retains most of the energy in the thorax. When the ambient temperature is high, the countercurrent exchange is reduced such that heat is transferred from the thorax to the abdomen.[6]


  1. ^ a b Bombus vosnesenskii. NatureServe. 2012.
  2. ^ Ebeling, R. Chapter 9, part 2: Pests Attacking Man and His Pets. Urban Entomology. UC Riverside. 2002.
  3. ^ Kweskin, M. P. (March 31, 1997). "Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski, 1862". The Bumblebees of Evergreen. The Evergreen State College. 
  4. ^ Goulson, D. (2003). Bumblebees: Their Behaviour and Ecology. Oxford University Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-19-852606-3. 
  5. ^ Heinrich, B. (1972). "Patterns of endothermy in bumblebee queens, drones and workers". Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology 77 (1): 65–79. doi:10.1007/BF00696520. 
  6. ^ Roberts, S.P. & Harrison, J.F. (1998). "Mechanisms of thermoregulation in flying bees". American Zoologist 38 (3): 492–502. doi:10.1093/icb/38.3.492.