For more information on the habitat and vegetation of the area this bee was found and on the weather the day it was found, please see the journal entry for April 18, 2012 (UW Seattle campus) here on iNaturalist. This yellow-faced bumblebee was found at first lying helplessly on the sidewalk next to the bus stop outside the Lander residence hall. It looked as if one of its wings was hurt, as it didn't fly away even when someone almost stepped on it. This bee might have even been in the last minutes of his life as it seemed incredibly weak. I got tired of seeing people almost killing it, so I got a leaf and had it crawl up onto it so I could take it over to the garden area behind the bus stop where the cherry laurel from a previous entry was located. Yellow-faced bumblebees are common all over western North America and this individual in particular was about 2 cm long, which is common in this species. Queens appear in early spring and begin nurturing their brood in underground colonies with the workers. They incubate the cluster until the adults emerge using thermoregulation, which is derived from honey, pollen, and nectar. Finally, the adult males and young queens leave the nest to mate late in spring and the old males, queens, and workers all die. The new queens overwinter and the cycle repeats itself.
The Urban Pollination Project seeks to document pollination in and around the Seattle area (Washington State, USA). We welcome photographs of any pollinator/plant interaction. Visit us at www.urbanpollinationproject.org