New York Natural Heritage Program
Black and Gold Bumble Bee
Bombus auricomus (Robertson, 1903)
Insects

Identifying Characteristics [-]
Black and gold bumble bee queens, workers, and males have a long-shaped face and at least some yellow hairs on the top of their head and yellow banding on the thorax. Abodominal segment one usually has at least some yellow, especially laterally. Segments two and three are yellow, with the last segments black (Colla et al. 2011).
Black and Gold Bumble Bee Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
Bumble bee queens hibernate over the winter, emerge in the spring, locate a nest site, and rear young (workers, males, and new queens). After new queens and males mate, all males, workers, and old queens die by the beginning of winter and new queens settle into sites to overwinter (Schweitzer et al. 2012).
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Active Reproducing
The time of year you would expect to find Black and Gold Bumble Bee active (blue shading) and reproducing (orange shading) in New York.
Similar Species
  • American bumble bee (Bombus (Thoracobombus) pensylvanicus)
    American bumble bees have all black hairs on the top of the head, while black and gold bumble bees have at least some yellow hairs on the top of the head (Colla et al. 2011).