Also commonly called a tricolored bumblebee, this species is yellow and black with a bright orange abdomen. Orange-belted bumblebees are ground-nesting insects whose colonies only last one season. In late April, the queen ends her hibernation by digging out from underneath a few inches of soil. She finds a burrow or natural crevice in the ground to begin laying eggs that will eventually develop into workers, which will expand the colony and forage for nectar to make honey.
Orange-belted bumblebees are an important pollinator species in our ecosystem. By visiting flowers within the rain garden in search of honey-producing nectar, the insects unintentionally collect pollen grains on their bodies that they then transfer from flower to flower, fertilizing the plants. Orange-belted bumblebees are pollinators for many plant species, including bee balm, trout lilies, nodding onion, and more.
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