4954 N. Shamrock Place, Tucson, AZ 85705

Sonoran Bumble Bee

Bombus spp.

Sonoran Bumble Bee

Physical Features

Large bees growing 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches long, yellow and black, and hairy. Their hairy legs are used to collect and carry pollen to the hive.

Life Cycle

Complete metamorphosis
The queen places pollen in the middle of the nest in which she lays her eggs, and then she seals it with a wax covering. She also makes a honeypot, a wax cup filled with nectar, which she feeds from while waiting for the larvae to emerge. The larvae feed on the pollen inside their wax covering, and then the queen continues to feed them through an opening in the wax covering. The larvae spin cocoons when they are ready, and then emerge in their adult form. At the end of summer, the queen produces unfertilized eggs that develop into drones. Females produced during this time become new queens. The drones and workers die and the new, mated queens fly to a new nest site.


  • Diet: Flower nectar.
  • Activity: Active in the springtime and early Fall.┬áTravel in small colonies from a few dozen to several hundred.
  • Preferred Climate: Temperate climates
  • Defense: Loud buzzing sound and painful stings.
  • Cautions: Painful stings
  • Home Invasion: Most nest in or near the ground in previously occupied burrows or crevices, but will occupy empty cavities in home structures. This includes under decks or patios, attics, stairways or in eaves of the home. They may also take harbor in woodpiles, leaf piles, or landscaping timber.

Helpful Hints

  • Clear debris that could be potential harboring sites.
  • If an activity is found,┬ácall for service.


Bee stings can produce different reactions, ranging from temporary pain and discomfort to a severe allergic reaction.

Nesting Sites

Considered ground nesting bees and will on occasion bee seen nesting in roof eaves or gables inside insulation material.