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

Confusing Bumble Bee (Bombus perplexus)

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Confusing Bumble Bee (Bombus perplexus), a Wisconsin State Special Concern bee is a ground nesting bee found in wooded areas, urban parks, gardens, and wetlands. Wisconsin is toward the edges of its range and was probably never common. Wisconsin has a few current records from Dane, Door, Pepin, and Waupaca Counties. In Wisconsin, the few records are mostly from July. Rangewide, bees are active April to September. Nectar plants include Cirsium (thistles), Melilotus (sweet clover), Penstemon, Pontederia, Prunus (plums/cherries), Ribes (gooseberry/currants), Rhododendron, Rubus (blackberry), Tilia, and Vaccinium (blueberry).

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 Confusing Bumble Bee (Bombus perplexus). 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 perplexus in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/N
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS1
Global RankG5
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.


No additional photos are available for Confusing Bumble Bee at this time. Please consider donating a photo to the Natural Heritage Conservation program.

Last revised: Tuesday, February 19, 2019