Bumble bees and lookalikes

This group contains several genera that all follow the same general coloration pattern of dark head, light thorax hairs, and hairy black and light yellow abdomen.


  • fuzzy, matte abdomen
  • carries pollen in pellets on hind legs
  • common in gardens throughout year


  • glossy black abdomen
  • prominent black dot on thorax
  • builds nests in wooden desks and eaves


  • very fast flier
  • common in summer months
  • carries pollen in brushes on hind legs


  • very fast flier
  • associated with spring-blooming shrubs, especially blueberry and redbud
  • no dark spot on thorax
Ptilothrix bombiformis


  • found on hibiscus or rose-of sharon
  • short thorax hairs, no dark spot on thorax
  • very rare north of New York City

Doesn’t match? Go back one step to the start.