Bumble Bees of the Eastern United States POSTER

Explore and learn about the Bumble Bees of the Eastern United States on the poster!

Dimensions: 21" x 28.25"

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We depict 21 bumble bee species (Bombus spp.) occurring east of the Mississippi River in the United States. The flying bumble bees are not shown directly over the places they occur. They have bee arranged artistically to cover the eastern USA, thus the representation is not like a scientific range map. Within the genus Bombus, individuals vary dramatically within a species in color pattern and extent and intensity of colors on the head, thorax and abdomen. A representative common color pattern is shown for each species. Face shape is not pictured here, but it is a key component in accurate identification. Please refer to the depictions of color pattern and face shape in our published field guide, Bumble Bees of the Eastern United States, available at here.

To complicate matters further, bumble bees often mimic one another in color patterns, so they can be difficult to distinguish from one another especially on the wing as they go from flower to flower in your garden. The sizes of the bees on the poster are relative. The size of adult bumble bees is entirely dependent upon the amount of food they ate as larvae. Thus, even within the same colony of a species you can find tiny to very large workers, some of them approaching the size of the colony’s queen.

There are 47 bumble bee species in the entire United States and they are among our most important pollinators. These charismatic bees visit flowers with long corollas and abundant nectar. Bumble bees are important as commercial pollinators of tomatoes, along with certain wildflowers, which they buzz pollinate, turning themselves into living tuning forks to harvest their pollen grains. At least six species in the U.S. are in trouble. Visit pollinator.org for more information and to see how you can help.

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