Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) of Montana


Amelia C. Dolan, Casey M Delphia, Kevin M. O'Neill, Michael A. Ivie


Annals of the Entomological Society of America


Montana supports a diverse assemblage of bumble bees (Bombus Latreille) due to its size, landscape diversity, and location at the junction of known geographic ranges of North American species. We compiled the first inventory of Bombus species in Montana, using records from 25 natural history collections and labs engaged in bee research, collected over the past 125 years, as well as specimens collected specifically for this project during the summer of 2015. Over 12,000 records are included, with 28 species of Bombus now confirmed in the state. Based on information from nearby regions, four additional species are predicted to occur in Montana. Of the 28 species, Bombus bimaculatus Cresson and Bombus borealis Kirby are new state records. The presence of B. borealis was previously predicted, but the presence of B. bimaculatus in Montana represents a substantial extension of its previously reported range. Four additional " eastern" bumble bee species are recorded from the state, and three species pairs thought to replace one another from the eastern to western United States are now known to be sympatric in Montana. Additionally, our data are consistent with reported declines in populations of Bombus occidentalis Greene and Bombus suckleyi Greene, highlighting a need for targeted surveys of these two species in Montana.



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