2 Nisan 2013 Salı

Rhode Island State Insect

Rhode Island State Insect

Yellow-banded Bumblebee (common name)
Bombus terricola 
(scientific name)


A northeastern bee characterized by its distinct band of yellowish-brown hairs, the yellow-banded bumblebee was once widely distributed in the upper Midwest and eastern regions of United States, as well as large parts of southern Canada. The queen and workers have a yellow band on the thorax as well as on the second and third abdominal segments. A small patch of yellow is also present on the fringe of the fifth abdominal segment, while the head, legs, and the remaining segments are all black. Males are similar except for a tuft of yellow hair on the top of their heads and faces. The population of the species has declined sharply in some of its former range as a result of habitat loss, pesticides, climate change, competing species, and diseases spread by commercially reared bumblebees.


Queen:1.5–1.7 inch (4–4.5 cm)
Worker:1–1.3 inch (2.5–3.5 cm)
Total Length:
Queen:0.6–0.7 inch (1.7–1.9 cm)
Male:0.5–0.6 inch (1.3–1.7 cm)
Worker:03–0.5 inch (0.9–1.4 cm)
Larvae: White maggot-looking larvae without eyes or legs. Comprised of 13 segments, each of which has a pair of spiracles for respiration.
The queen can live up to a year, a worker up to 13 days, and males live from the summer to the fall.
Edge of forests, grasslands, and open flower-rich meadows.
Range: Significant populations exist in the northeastern U.S., southeastern California, and southeastern British Columbia.
Flight period: The queen overwinters and starts her nest-building activity and foraging in March or early April. During the breeding phase, she remains confined to the nest. The flight period of the males and workers extends throughout their adult life.
Conservation status: Severe collapses in certainly regions and overall declines.
These social insects form colonies of about 50 individuals. The nest is not as highly organized as that of honeybees, and is built by a single female on the ground within tunnels made by rodents or other animals. The female usually starts nest building after emerging from hibernation. She also prepares wax pots to keep her eggs and store food.
One of the most striking behaviors of the bumblebee is "buzz pollination" or "sonication." The bee performs this act by grabbing the flower in its mouth and vibrating its flight muscles to release the pollen from the anther of the flower. This is particularly useful in flowers whose anthers have minute holes that make it difficult to dislodge the pollen, like peppers, tomatoes, blueberries, and cranberries. The bees unique ability to vibrate their flight muscles also helps to generate heat so that bumblebees can get airborne at lower temperatures compared to other species of bees.
Adults: They are generalist foragers, feeding on nectar and pollen from a variety of plants.
Larvae: Pollen is the primary food with small amounts of nectar eaten as well.
  • The population decline of several species of bumblebees, including the yellow-banded bumblebee, is largely due to spread of diseases by commercially produced bees that are transported throughout the United States. Many species of insect-pollinated plants have declined as a result of decline in bumblebee populations, and this has in turn disturbed the ecological balance in some areas. Conservation groups and bee scientists have asked the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to provide protection to these native pollinators against the threat of diseases by regulating the inter-state movements of commercial bees and certifying their disease-free status.
  • The egg-to-adult metamorphosis process takes about five weeks. Fertilized eggs grow into females and queens, while the unfertilized ones become males. The larva hatches from the eggs, undergoes a phase of intense growth, and spins a silk cocoon around itself to enter into the next phase of growth, the pupal stage. The adult emerges from the silk cocoon.
  • One of the earliest insects to emerge in spring, bumblebees forage on a variety of flowers and provide great value in agriculture by helping to pollinate a number of native plants, wildflowers, and crops including, raspberry, cranberry, potato, field beans, and alfalfa.

Click to enlarge an image
State Insect
Bumblebee Harvesting Nectar
State Insect
Close-up of Bumblebee
State Insect
Bumblebee Feeding on Flower
State Insect
Colorful Bumblebee
State Insect
Bumblebee Coming in for a Landing

Species:B. terricola
Author: World Trade Press

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