Black Bumble Bee

Black bumble bees are familiar visitors to gardens, but if you don’t want them to pollinate your flowers or crops, they might be a nuisance.

Facts, Identification, and Control

If you are wondering whether the black fuzzy bee you saw is a black bumble bee, you’ll need to know about their essential characteristics.

Latin Name

Black bumble bees are known as bombus melanopygus.


Black bumble bees look like exceptionally fat bees, complete with a black tail, large eyes, hairy body, and small patches of yellow. While some are all black bumble bees, most have a dash of yellow coloration.

Facts about Black Bumble Bees

Where Do They Live?

Black bees live all over North America, typically in forested and suburban areas. Bumble bees also have a presence in South America and Europe, though black bumble bees are less common there.

There are very few black bumble bees in highly arid and highly humid environments. Similarly, there are few black bumble bees at extreme latitudes and prairies.

What Do They Eat?

Black and yellow bumble bees consume nectar and harvest pollen to consolidate into the wax in their nests.

How Did I Get Black Bumble Bees?

Big black flying bees build their nests in small burrows on the ground made by other animals. Sometimes, however, large black bees build little nests in trees.

How Serious Are Large Black Bee Problems?

Problem #1 – Bees Bothering Pets

While bumblebees are seldom aggressive, your pets may be curious about their burrows. This will result in them getting stung if they are persistent.

Problem #2 – Bees Getting Into The House

When bees nest near your house instead of in a tree, they can sometimes become trapped inside and bother your family. They may subsequently contaminate exposed food or dust your laundry with pollen by accident.

Problem #3 – Bee Stings

Bumblebees are capable of stinging more than once. While they don’t often sting, if you accidentally agitate a nest, you should expect them to attack you for a while.


Can I get rid of black bumble bees naturally?

Citrus scents get rid of black bumblebees naturally. They hate the smell. Make your citrus spray by simmering the juice and peel for about 10 minutes to release the oil. Pour the solution into a bottle, let it cool and spray their nesting area. Remember to do the same the next year before they are due to return to the nest. After a couple of seasons, they won´t bother to come back again.

How did I get black bumble bees?

Black bumble bees live and lay their eggs in wood. If you have wooden structures with a little bit of damp or rot that will make it more likely that they will set up home. Keeping your wood in good repair will help. But, potentially they can set up home in any untreated wood. Provided there are sources of nectar and pollen nearby, which they feed on.

Are black bumble bees dangerous to humans?

Black bumble bees are rarely dangerous to humans. Only the female’s sting and they have to be riled to do so. Plus, their sting is very mild. If, however, you are allergic to bee stings being stung by a black bumble bee (carpenter bee) would be dangerous, potentially life-threatening.

Where can you usually find black bumble bees?

You can usually find black bumblebees living around homes or buildings where some of the wood used in the structure is accessible from the outside. They create channels in the wood and raise the next generation in them. If the black bumblebees you are seeing are in fact mining bees you many find them nesting in a crack between your foundations and the ground. They also set up home in people´s gardens.