Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Bumblebee Returns

   Finally! The mystery bumblebee was finally spotted in the yard. I had previously only seen it on vegetation along the golf course fairway, just a mere 50 yards from the majority of our flower beds. Fifty yards doesn't seem far for a bee to fly, but for some reason it was really preferring the spotted knapweed in the golf course rough. I still am not certain what kind it is. I previously thought it might be a Golden Northern Bumblebee, but I'm not so sure now. The bees we saw in Blacksburg seemed larger and yellower. I found it on the Agastache "Blue Blazes" in our front yard, then I found another on some Gaillardia. Jeff saw one just today on the Nepeta. I love bees, they always keep me company when I'm out in the yard, and I'm happy to share my flowers with this new visitor, I just wish I knew its name!

Can anyone out there help with the identification?

Mystery bumblebee

Our resident Common Eastern Bumblebee


  1. Hi Julie,
    Interesting looking bee, so long in length. Haven't seen this one before, I would check the Xerces Society website, they have some bee id documents.

  2. Heather,
    Yeah, it does have a rather long tapered abdomen. I thought that might help in the identification, but no luck so far. Thanks for the tip on the Xerces site, I'll do some digging around over there.

  3. Don't know if it will help with identification, but yesterday I was watering a serviceberry tree and one of these fellas came tunneing out of the wet mulch coughing and spitting water. Is it possible they are ground nesters or hunters???