Bumble bees belong to the insect family Hymenoptera, which includes the bees, ants, wasps and sawflies. There are over 40 recorded species of bumble bees in Canada, widely distributed across all corners of the country. Bumble bees are important pollinators – they are capable of performing buzz pollination, or the rapid contraction of the bumble bee’s flight muscles, producing strong vibrations that cause pollen to be released from flowers that would otherwise be inaccessible. This ability makes them particularly effective at pollinating a number of wildflowers, fruits and vegetables.

The incredible range and diversity of bumble bees means that you can spot a variety of different bumble bees, in different regions, at different times throughout the season.

All lab specimen images provided courtesy of Margarita Miklasevskaja at PCYU with funding from NSERC-CANPOLIN.  Friends of the Earth extends a special thank you to Packer Lab at York University.


Common Eastern Bumble Bee

Common name: Common eastern bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus impatiens
Habitat: Close to or within woodland, grassland, farmland, wetlands, urban parks and gardens1
Photo taken by Glynis Thomas (NS)



Two-Spotted Bumble Bee

Common name: Two-spotted bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus bimaculatus
Habitat: Close to or within wooded areas, urban parks and gardens2
Photo taken by Christine Belanger (QC)



Brown-Belted Bumble Bee

Common name: Brown-belted bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus griseocollis
Habitat: Open farmland, parks, gardens, wetlands3
Photo taken by Guy Buller (ON)



Tri-Coloured Bumble Bee

Common name: Tri-coloured bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus ternarius
Habitat: Close to or within woodland, wetlands4
Photo taken by Allison Gray (NS)



Red-Belted Bumble Bee

Common name: Red-belted bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus rufocinctus
Habitat: Open farmland, parks, gardens, wetlands5
Photo taken by Sylvia Curtis-Norcross (ON)



Half-Black Bumble Bee

Common name: Half-black bumble bee
Latin name: Bombus vagans
Habitat: Forests, wetlands, urban parks and gardens6
Photo taken by Janet McNaughton (NL)



Yellow-Banded Bumble Bee

Common name: Yellow-banded bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus terricola
Habitat: Close to or within wooded areas and wetlands7
Photo taken by Justin So (NL)



Northern Amber Bumble Bee

Common name: Northern amber bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus borealis
Habitat: Close to or within wooded areas8
Photo taken by Susan Blaney (ON)



Yellow Bumble Bee

Common name: Yellow bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus fervidus
Habitat: Grassland, farmland, urban parks, gardens9
Photo taken by Danielle Horne (NS)



Lemon Cuckoo Bumble Bee

Common name: Lemon cuckoo bee
Scientific name: Bombus citrinus
Habitat: Close to or within wooded areas10



Confusing Bumble Bee

Common name: Confusing bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus perplexus
Habitat: Wooded areas, urban parks, gardens, and wetlands11
Photo taken by Danielle Horne (NS)



American Bumble Bee

Common name: American bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus pensylvanicus
Habitat: Open farmland and fields12
Photo taken by Brenda Van Ryswyk (ON)


Black & Gold Bumble Bee

Common name: Black and gold bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus auricomus
Habitat: Open grassland and old field habitats13



Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee

Common name: Rusty-patched bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus affinis
Habitat: Close to or within woodlands14



Sanderson Bumble Bee

Common name: Sanderson bumble bee
Latin name: Bombus sandersoni
Habitat: Near or within wooded areas15
Photo taken by Carell Doerrbecker (ON)


Nevada Bumble Bee

Common name: Nevada bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus nevadensis
Habitat: Open grassy prairies and meadows16



Forest Bumble Bee

Common name: Forest bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus sylvicola
Habitat: Open grassy areas and mountain meadows17



Black Tail Bumble Bee

Common name: Black tail bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus melanopygus
Habitat: Open grassy areas, urban parks and gardens, shrub areas, and mountain meadows18



Cryptic Bumble Bee

Common name: Cryptic bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus cryptarum
Habitat: Tundra and taiga habitats19



Yellow Head Bumble Bee

Common name: Yellow head bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus flavifrons
Habitat: Grassy prairies and mountain meadows as well as transition and northern forest areas20



Frigid Bumble Bee

Common name: Frigid bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus frigidus
Habitat: Tundra and taiga, boreal forest, and mountain meadow habitat21



Gyspy Cuckoo Bumble Bee

Common name: Gypsy cuckoo bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus bohemicus
Habitat: Open meadows, agricultural and urban areas, boreal forest and woodlands22



Fernald Cuckoo Bumble Bee

Common name: Fernald cuckoo bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus fernaldae
Habitat: Openings and meadow edges in montane and boreal forest23



Fuzzy-Horned Bumble Bee

Common name: Fuzzy-horned
Scientific name: Bombus mixtus
Habitat: Open grassy areas, shrub areas, and mountain meadows24



Indiscriminate Cuckoo Bumble Bee

Common name: Indiscriminate bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus insularis
Habitat: Tundra and taiga, western mountain ranges, and some maritime regions25
Photo taken by Dominique Gusset (NS)



Polar Bumble Bee

Common name: Polar bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus polaris
Habitat: Tundra habitats26



Hunt Bumble Bee

Common name: Hunt bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus huntii
Habitat: Prairies and meadows27



Suckley Cuckoo Bumble Bee

Common name: Suckley cuckoo bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus suckleyi
Habitat: Open grassy areas, shrub areas, and mountain meadows28



High Arctic Bumble Bee

Common name: High arctic bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus natvigi
Habitat: Tundra habitats29



High Country Bumble Bee

Common name: High country bumble bee
Scientific name: Bombus balteatus
Habitat: Alpine tundra, high subalpine forest meadows, open boreal areas and Arctic tundra30


White-Tail Bumble Bee

Common name: White-Tail Bumble Bee
Scientific name: Bombus lucorum
Habitat: Garden, upland, moorland31

1. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937797/0
2. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937719/0
3. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937645/0
4. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937988/0
5. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/21215145/0
6. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44938024/0
7. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937505/0
8. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44938377/0
9. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/21215132/0
10. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937676/0
11. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937925/0
12. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/21215172/0
13. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44936424/0
14. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937399/0
15. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937931/0
16. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/21215146/0
17. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937945/0
18. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937809/0
19. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/13340340/0
20. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937784/0
21. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937790/0
22. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/13152926/0
23. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/13340361/0
24. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937898/0
25. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937688/0
26. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/88120725/0
27. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/21215139/0
28. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44937699/0
29. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/88089236/0
30. http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=IIHYM24060