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Share your observations

Share your observations of plants or non-game animals with the Natural Heritage Inventory

Rare animals
Find rare and non-game animals.
Rare plants
Learn about plants on the Natural Heritage Working List.
Rare lichens
Discover Wisconsin's lichens.
Natural communities
Explore Wisconsin's natural communities.
Other features
Discover unique resources.
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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

Yellowbanded Bumble Bee (Bombus terricola)



Yellowbanded Bumble Bee (Bombus terricola), a Federal Species of Concern and State Special Concern species, is found in wooded and wetland areas. It is a ground nesting bee that often uses abandoned rodent burrows as nests. Wisconsin has several recent observation records from northern and central counties. Older records found it scattered throughout the state. In Wisconsin, observation records have mostly been made between May and September. Rangewide, bees are active April - September. Nectar plants include asters, crocus, Eupatorium (Joe-pye weed), Monarda (bee balms), Ribes (gooseberry/currants), Rosa (roses), Rubus (blackberry), Salix (willows), Solidago (goldenrods), Spirea (meadowsweet), Taraxacum (dandelion), and Vaccinium (blueberry).

Due to drastic population declines since the mid-1990s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned and is currently reviewing the status of the yellowbanded bumble bee [exit DNR].

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 Yellowbanded Bumble Bee (Bombus terricola). 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 terricola in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/N
Federal Status in WisconsinSOC
State RankS1
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.



Yellowbanded Bumble Bee

Photo by Jay Watson, WDNR.

Yellowbanded Bumble Bee

Photo by Jay Watson, WDNR.

Yellowbanded Bumble Bee

Photo by Jay Watson, WDNR.

Yellowbanded Bumble Bee

Worker on wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Photo by Jay Watson, WDNR.

Yellowbanded Bumble Bee

Queen on apple tree (Malus pumila)

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 Yellowbanded Bumble Bee. Only natural communities for which Yellowbanded 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

Ecological landscape associations

The table below lists the ecological landscape association scores for Yellowbanded 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 Yellowbanded 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