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Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare vertebrate animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist
For information on Wisconsin's rare invertebrates, contact:
Jay Watson
Conservation Biologist

Yellow Bumble Bee (Bombus fervidus)



Yellow Bumble Bee (Bombus fervidus), a State Special Concern bee, inhabits grassy, open areas which include forest clearings, gardens, parks and along roadsides. Wisconsin has a dozen current observation records spread across the southern half of the state. Historic records are from across the state. Nests are found both above and below the ground, though most commonly above ground. A nesting site is usually at least 50 meters from an area where food is plentiful enough to feed the entire colony. Breeds in the summer months. Nectar/pollen plants include aster, black-eyed Susan, common milkweed, Queen Anne's lace, dandelions, bull thistle, goldenrod, jewelweed, devil's beggartick, Joe-pye weed, climbing bittersweet, black willow, yellow poplar, American holly, ragweed, greater bladderwort, blueberry, jimsonweed, honeysuckle, and rose mallow. In Wisconsin, observation records have mostly been made between May and October.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Yellow Bumble Bee (Bombus fervidus). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.

Documented locations of Bombus fervidus in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/N
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2
Global RankG3G4
Tracked by NHIY

Species guidance

A guidance document is not available at this time. Use the information from the other tabs and contact local biologists, as needed, to develop management and avoidance strategies.



Yellow Bumble Bee

Photo © Naseem Reza.

Yellow Bumble Bee

Male on rough blazing-star (Liatris aspera)

Photo by Jay Watson, WDNR.

Yellow Bumble Bee

Worker on wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Photo by Jay Watson, WDNR.

Wildlife Action Plan

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

Natural community (habitat) associations

The table below lists the natural communities that are associated with Yellow Bumble Bee. Only natural communities for which Yellow Bumble Bee is "high" (score=3) or "moderate" (score=2) associated are shown. See the key to association scores for complete definitions. Please see the Wildlife Action Plan to learn how this information was developed.

Natural community Score
Dry-mesic Prairie 2
Mesic Prairie 2

Ecological landscape associations

The table below lists the ecological landscape association scores for Yellow Bumble Bee. The scores correspond to the map (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None). For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

This map shows the probability of Yellow Bumble Bee occurring in each of Wisconsin's Ecological Landscapes.  Actual scores can be found in the table to the left.

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Landscape-Community combinations of highest ecological priority*

Ecological priorities are the combinations of natural communities and ecological landscapes that provide Wisconsin's best opportunities to conserve important habitats for a given Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The 10 highest scoring combinations are considered ecological priorities and are listed below. More than 10 combinations are listed if multiple combinations tied for 10th place. For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

* Ecological priority score is a relative measure that is not meant for comparison between species. This score does not consider socio-economical factors that may dictate protection and/or management priorities differently than those determined solely by ecological analysis. Further, a low ecological priority score does not imply that management or preservation should not occur on a site if there are important reasons for doing so locally.

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Issues/threats and conservation actions

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the WWAP because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.

Threats/issues and conservations actions for rare animals

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Last revised: Thursday, October 08, 2020