This cleptoparasitic species has recently be re-found in VT after more than 50 years without a record. It has a relatively short flight periods, with females becoming active in May and males emerging in July and early August.

Until recently a very rare species in the state, with two known records prior to 2018 (1936 and 1963). Found two places in Franklin county in 2018, Caledonia and Bennington counties in 2019, and Washington county plus another location in Franklin in 2020 (thanks to iNat!). Other recent records from New England suggest it is expanding into the region.

Identification: Queens have yellow bands on T1 and T3, whereas males are quite variable. Most male B. fernaldae have some orange/red hairs on the tip of the abdomen (T7).

Similar Species: Lemon Cuckoo Bumble Bee (Bombus citrinus): Queens are similar, though usually don’t have yellow on T1 or as large of a black dot on the thorax.

Global Status: Secure (G5)*

Vermont Status: Not Ranked

*Ranked as Bombus flavidus which also occurs in Europe

For more information, visit the following links:

Discover Life
Living Atlas Species Page



To see the global distribution, check out the iNaturalist account, and toggle the GBIF layer on the map.