This is a relatively recent arrival to VT. A southern species that has spread north through the warmer parts of VT in the past few decades. Now found as far north as the Canadian border, but still relatively sporadic in most of the state.

When present this species can be quite noticeable, as it is found of nesting in timber, fence posts, and untreated barn wood. Males will vigorously defend nesting areas and fly at anything that moves. Females do the excavating, which can cause concern to home owners, though the damage is rarely, if ever, structural. It is thought that females will reuse old holes, so plugging them may only make the problem worse by encouraging new holes.

Identification: Very large, without a worker caste. Males have a distinctive white clypeus, and both sexes have less hair than Bumble Bees

Similar Species: Often confused for a Bumble Bee (genus Bombus), but they differ in details of the abdomen, head, and legs.

Global Status: Secure (G5)

Vermont Status: Not Ranked


For more information, visit the following links:

Discover Life
Living Atlas Species Page


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