How to Tell if a Bumble Bee Is Male or Female

Bumblebees collect pollen from flowers in pollen baskets.
••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

As winter turns to spring and spring turns to summer, insects begin leaving their winter homes and become more prevalent in the outdoors. One of those insects is the bumblebee. Bumblebees are large, black and yellow insects, usually found in more temperate climates. Although the worker bumblebees along with the Queen have stingers, they are not as likely to use them compared to other types of bees. When identifying bumblebees, it is important to start out with whether the bee is female or male.

    Examine the bumblebee. Look at the abdominal section and count how many segments are present. Females have six segments while males have seven.

    Look at the head of the bee, specifically at the antennas. Count the number of segments on the antennas. Females have 12 segments on the antenna while males have 13.

    Check to see if the bee has a pollen basket near the back legs, which looks like a shiny segment that has long hairs and indicates a female bumblebee. Look for any yellow, red or orange pollen near the back legs if the pollen basket is full.

    Look at the legs of the bumblebee, noticing if the legs appear wider or smaller. Male legs are not as large as those of a female and have a hairy matte finish to their legs.

Related Articles

How To Identify Wasps & Bees
How to Tell Male from Female Crickets
How to Identify Hornets & Wasps in Tennessee
How to Distinguish Between Male and Female Turtles
How to Distinguish a Male & Female Robin
How to Tell if a Cardinal Bird Is Male or Female
Identification of Wasps
How to Tell a Hen From a Jake
Poisonous Spiders in the Northeast
How to Know If an Ascaris Is a Male or Female?
The Differences Between Male & Female Spiders
The Biggest Spiders in Virginia
Difference Between Male & Female Grasshoppers
Wasps That Fly at Night
How to Build a Mason Bee House
Common House Spiders and Their Mating Habits
How to Identify Ground Wasps