New York Natural Heritage Program
Rusty-patched Bumble Bee
Bombus (Bombus) affinis Cresson, 1863

Habitat [-]
Bumble bees are generalist foragers and need nesting habitat in the spring, flowers for adult and larval nutrition throughout the spring and summer, and sites for queens to overwinter. Rusty-patched bumble bees are underground nesters and will use abandoned rodent burrows, hollow tree stumps, and fallen dead wood (Colla and Taylor-Pindar 2011). Foraging habitat should include flower abundance and species richness with overlapping blooms to ensure nectar availability throughout the growing season (Schweitzer et al. 2012). Select food plants for B. affinis include sunflowers, asters, goldenrods, VacciniumPrunus, and Aesculus (Colla et al. 2011). Suitable sites for bumble bees to overwinter may include rotting logs, mulch, or loose soil (Schweitzer et al. 2012).