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The common eastern bumble bee has black hairs on its head, abdomen and legs. The center of its body, between the first two sets of legs is called the thorax. On the common eastern bumblebee the thorax is yellow. Bumble bees have fur all over their bodies; these hairs collect and trap pollen which the bees carry from one bloom to another. This bumble bee has unusually large colony sizes and for this reason may be at some competitive advantage. It is a pollinator of flowers and numerous fruit and vegetable crops, including tomatoes, blueberries and cucumbers.
This is the most often encountered bumble bee across much of eastern North America, ranging from Ontario to Maine and south to Florida. It is common on the Atlantic coast and much less common near the western edge of its range (eastern ND, central NE, western KS, eastern TX). It has an unusually long flight season and thrives across a wide range of habitats and climates ranging from the cold temperate zone to the warm subtropics, being found in intensively farmed areas, suburbs, and highly urban areas.